CHATHAM, NJ - Matt Gentile got his first start, taking the place of sophomore guard Jack Rooney to give Chatham a five-man senior lineup in its final regular-season home boys basketball game on Tuesday night.
Gentile and fellow classmates Jake Bevich, Tristan LeMon, Stefan Goles and Colin McKenna got the job done on "Senior Night" by scoring 70 percent of the points in the Cougars' 60-33 victory over Montville.
LeMon led the way with 14 points and McKenna hit for 12 as the seniors accounted for 42 of the 60 points scored.
"It was good for the seniors," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "They all got to play together, so it was a good moment. The plan was to get them out there as long as we could."
The five seniors played the entire first quarter, forging a 16-6 lead as Gentile scored the first points for Chatham with a left-handed finish of a nice pass from LeMon. All five seniors scored in the quarter and Gentile, normally a reserve, got a chance to show his talents.
At one point, Gentile saved a pass that was going out of bounds and made a one-handed throw to LeMon cross court. He later received the ball back and fired a pass inside that Bevich leaped to finish. Gentile closed out the Cougar scoring in the opening period with an up-and-under finish of a drive to the rim.
In the third quarter, LeMon drained two straight 3-pointers and Bevich knocked down a 3-pointer before McKenna threw down a two-handed dunk that pushed the lead to 47-24.
In the fourth quarter the LeMon brothers combined to score nine points, with Graham LeMon scoring twice inside. Sophomore Ryan Decker dropped in a jumper for the final points of the game.
Top-seeded Chatham (24-1) next plays No. 2-seed Randolph for the Morris County Tournament championship, 7 p.m. Saturday at the County College of Morris.
Matt Gentile finishes a pass from Tristan LeMon to give Chatham its first points of the night
Matt Gentile got the start on "Senior Night" and helped Chatham forge a 16-6 lead