CHATHAM, NJ - The freezing weather outside and the ice cold shooting inside the gym during the fourth quarter on Friday night made for an uncomfortable ending to the Cougar Classic for the Chatham girls basketball team.
Chatham scored just five points in the fourth quarter and did not make a shot from the floor in the period as Oak Knoll pulled away for a 45-34 win over the Lady Cougars.
"We didn't shoot the ball well today," Chatham coach Joe Gaba said. "But more importantly, we just didn't compete today. There were certain things that we were going to exploit on them, our ball pressure wasn't where we need it to be, our denial wasn't what it needed to be, our rotation on the press wasn't there. It just kind of fell apart in terms of what we were trying to execute on the floor."
Emily Archer scored seven of her game-high 22 points in the final quarter when Oak Knoll (2-2) outscored Chatham, 17-5, to erase the 29-28 edge Chatham held at the end of the third.
Chatham's only points of the fourth period came on free throws as the Lady Cougars missed on all 12 shots it attempted from the floor. For the game, Chatham (2-4) made 11 of 47 shots from the field (23.4 percent) and hit four of 28 shots in the second half (14.2 percent).
"We played a little soft tonight," Gaba said. "We were fading away from shots. We were not finishing on the rim. We were just tossing the ball up. It just wasn't good.
"It's a new year. We have a few days to figure this out. Quite frankly, we have Morristown here on Wednesday night. It's our first league game and we'll work on getting ready for that. There is talent on this team."
Chatham put together its most promising stretch of the game when it closed out the first half with a 7-0 run. Hannah Kelly hit a turnaround jumper, Veronica Kelly scored a baseline jumper off a pass from Tess Ford and Michaela Ford drained a 3-pointer to give the Lady Cougars a 19-17 edge at the break.
Veronica Kelly had 12 points to lead Chatham, which received seven points from Michaela Ford.
Veronica Kelly hits a jump shot for Chatham in the second half vs. Oak Knoll
Hannah Kelly drops in a perimeter shot for Chatham vs. Oak Knoll