Chatham Lady Cougars Triumph Over Madison 47-30, Win Conference Title

Chatham Lady Cougars Triumph Over Madison 47-30, Win Conference Title

CHATHAM, NJ - Megan Conners lit up with two three-pointers during the first five minutes of the Chatham Cougars’ home-game victory over the Madison Dodgers Monday night. Tori Ellis was the sturdiest brick in Madison’s defensive wall, but the team could not match Chatham’s offensive speed and fell to the Cougars, 47-30.
Sam Cicconi of Madison, whom coach Steven Finkelstein later congratulated for “playing her best game of the season,” earned Madison their only three points in the first quarter with a two-pointer and a free throw, making the score 10-3.
Guard Amanda Berntsen of Chatham swooshed a three-pointer in the first three minutes of the second quarter. Berntsen continued her scoring streak with two free throw points and a layup assisted by Hart. By halftime, Madison had added a mere two points in free throws, leading to a score of 26-5 in favor of Chatham. 
Ellis released some pent-up halftime angst with a layup and a three-pointer for Madison at the start of the third quarter. Berntsen counteracted Ellis with an open layup assisted by Davies, and Cicconi responded with two strong layups for Madison. Ellis restored Madison’s hopes, though Chatham maintained a hefty lead, 34-19.
In the final quarter, junior forward Lauren Linschuh and Hart of Chatham each made two-point shots. Ellis of Madison had to sit out on account of five fouls, and Davies compounded the disadvantage by sinking her two free throw shots. Cicconi of Madison resisted Chatham’s impending victory with a steal and layup, and scored the last two-pointer as coach Finkelstein counted down the game’s last ten seconds.
Chatham’s victory leaves the Cougars with a record of 23-1 on the season. Ten minutes before the game started, Chatham head coach Joe Gaba said that the team would focus on “better defense than the first time we played against Madison, and better zone offense.” Although defense was still weak, Chatham’s offense was strong.
Hart said, “We struggled a bit in the first half, but we still played really well” and Davies added that the team “did really well in transition.”
Hart and Davies are proud of having secured the conference title, and a mood of celebration filled the court as Coach Gaba, the team, and parents convened.  

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