CHATHAM, NJ - The silver lining is that the Chatham girls basketball team scored the final 12 points of the game in its 39-30 loss to Hunterdon Central on Friday in the opening round of the Cougar Classic.
That closing run by Chatham (1-2), which now stands 0-2 at home this season, kept the Lady Cougars from what could have been a very lopsided loss.
"We struggled offensively for sure," Chatham coach Joe Gaba said. "They did a really good job of changing in and out of their man and zone looks. Their length gave us some problems. We gave them so many second chances. The first half was a problem."
After Hunterdon Central (2-1) held Chatham to a single basket in the third quarter, the early part of the fourth quarter put the Lady Cougars in a deeper hole. A 3-pointer by Michelle Lalor staked Hunterdon Central to a 39-18 advantage.
Junior guard Cassandra Falone, who led all scorers with 13 points, started the closing streak for Chatham by sinking a 3-pointer. She scored eight of the 12 points. Freshman Veronica Kelly scored off a pass from Falone and then dropped in a basket off a rebound.
"We are showing some good signs," Gaba said. "We played hard to the end. As long as we can continue to get better, that's all we want to do."
Hunterdon Central's balanced scoring and height advantage kept Chatham from getting much going until it was too late.
"We have good moments, but we also turn the ball over," Falone said. "What we need is more good moments and less turnovers. I think it will come with practice."
Freshman Chloe Blanc hits a jumper from the corner for Chatham at Cougar Classic in video below