PARSIPPANY, NJ - Manny Udoh scored 28 points for Parsippany as the Red Hawks beat the Chatham Cougars on Tuesday, 56-43.
Despite a rough first half in which the Red Hawks shot 21.4% from the field including 0/10 from three-point range, they were able to pull out the victory.
Chatham jumped out to an 8-0 lead early. By the end of the first quarter, Parsippany had cut the lead to four and they gained a five-point lead by halftime, much behind the work of two emphatic dunks by Udoh. He got the crowd into it by throwing down two big dunks on fast breaks.
The Cougars shot 9.09% from three in the first half, and eventually their poor shooting and overall sloppy handling of the ball caught up to them. "We couldn't make shots, we couldn't handle the ball, and we couldn't stop penetration," said junior guard Brian Ballard, who finished with eight points.
"Awful effort. Didn't play good help defense, had trouble rebounding. We just got to regroup and get ready for Madison; could be the biggest game of the year," center Kevin Giannattassio said. Udoh was able to get inside too easily and Chatham had no answer for him.
Chatham Captain Chris Conroy provided nearly the only source of offense for the Cougars, who fell to 11-8 after the loss. He scored 18 points and kept the game from getting out of hand down the stretch. Jonathan Berntsen had four assists for Chatham.
Chatham will face Madison at home Thursday, looking to be the first to knock off the undefeated Dodgers. The Cougars will face them again Saturday, at a neutral site, Randolph, in the second round of the Morris County Tournament. Madison beat Chatham in a close game when the two teams faced off at Madison High School last month.
For Parsippany, Jabari Jackson had seven points and Mike Ross and Peter Gonzalez had six each. The Red Hawks will play at Pequannock High School on Thursday.