CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham girls basketball team made it rain 3-pointers in the first half to open a lead it never lost in its 50-40 girls basketball victory over Parsippany Hills on Saturday in the first round of the Morris County Tournament.
"It's a lot easier when shots are going in," Chatham coach Joe Gaba said. "Anytime you win a county tournament game it's a good win."
The Lady Cougars knocked down eight 3-point shots in the first half, including five during a 19-0 streak in the second quarter.
Parsippany Hills (8-8) held a 20-14 lead in the second quarter when Chatham (12-6) used a zone press to spark its offense. Freshman center Veronica Kelly ignited the run when she made her first 3-pointer of the season, swishing a shot from the right corner.
"I didn't really know what to do with it and nobody else was open so I just shot," Kelly said.
Freshman guard Chloe Blanc then scored off a nice bounce pass from Cassandra Falone before Falone drained a 3-pointer. The long-range attack continued with consecutive 3-point baskets by Falone, Blanc and Shea Matta before Falone stole the ball and took it in for a layup that gave Chatham a 33-20 lead.
Falone scored 14 of her game-high 17 points in the first half for the Lady Cougars. Falone hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game with 3:07 left in the third to make it a 42-29 lead for Chatham.
Blanc, who ended with 14 points, helped seal the victory with four points late in the fourth quarter on a steal for a layup and two free throws. Kelly ended with nine points.
Lost in all the scoring was a stellar defensive effort by Chatham senior Emily Walczyk, who held Veronica Serkowska of Parsippany Hills to eight points.
"She was kind of my assignment for the game," Walczyk said. "Someone had to guard her. She's obviously really talented. Their whole team was talented. We all had to buckle down on defense and get it done."
Olivia Diaz-Saavedra scores off a pass from Veronica Kelly for Chatham in video below
Cassandra Falone hits a 3-pointer in the first half for Chatham against Parsippany HIlls