CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham's head coach Joe Gaba has only one simple request of his players on Tuesday night: "Win and move on." Chatham High School took down Parsippany Hills in the first round of the state tournament on Tuesday night at home, 49-40. The Chatham Lady Cougars are now 25-2-0 this season.
The 1st-seeded Cougars came into this contest with only two losses in their last eighteen games. Both of those losses happened against Morris Catholic with the second loss taking place on Friday. Chatham had four days to regroup before taking on the 16th-seeded Parsippany Hills Vikings.
Chatham and Parsippany Hills kept each other in check in the early part of the game. The score stayed tight in the first quarter. Parsippany Hills had a size advantage over Chatham but Chatham had speed and steadier shooting. Both teams played conservative team ball and did not take take any unnecessary risks. The first quarter ended with the score 12-10 in Chatham's favor.
In the second quarter Chatham slowly increased their lead over Parsippany Hills. Late in the 2nd quarter with 3:50 left to play, the score was 22 -12 in favor of Chatham. With time winding down in the first half Parsippany Hills suddenly stepped up its game and piled on enough points to cut Chatham's lead to two points. The 2nd quarter ended with Chatham leading 22-20.
The score was tied 24-24 at 6:30 in the third quarter. Then, Parsippany Hills led the game briefly 27-26 before Chatham erupted for 16 points to finish the quarter. With less than five minutes left Chatham's Amanda Berntsen found the net to score 8 points while her teammate Kelsey Davies contributed two three pointers and Lauren Winschuh scored as well, allowing the Cougars to pull away 42-27.
The fourth quarter belonged to Chatham. The Parsippany Hills Vikings managed to close the gap to 46-38 with 50 seconds left but the Cougars were too much. The game concluded with Chatham on top 49-40. Chatham advanced to the second round of the playoffs, which will take place this coming Thursday while Parsippany Hill's season run is over. Chatham's Amanda Berntsen scored a game-high 20 points. Her teammate Kelsey Hart contributed 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Parsippany Hills' Danyelle Stuetley scored 17 points for the Vikings.
Chatham's head coach Joe Gaba commented after the game, "Win and move on and that is what I want every game. Parsippany Hills came in and did a great job staying in their zone and they frustrated us from the outside. Their size we knew was going to give us problems but we grinded this one out and now we are on our way to the next game."
Chatham's next game is at home on Thursday against an opponent that has yet to be named.