MONTVILLE, NJ - Chatham played like a boys basketball team that had just been named the top seed for the 2016 Morris County Tournament, living up to its seeding by doubling up Montville, 54-27, for its 14th straight victory on Tuesday.
The next time Chatham (14-0) takes the court with its undefeated mark on the line will be 5:45 p.m. Sunday vs. Linden (10-2) at the County College of Morris in Randolph. For the first time this season, Chatham will be the decided underdog.
"It'll be fun for sure," Chatham senior Tristan LeMon said. "We'll give it our best effort and try to come out with a win."
LeMon has done his part to make it fun and successful for the Cougars this season. Against Montville, he contributed heavily to a Cougar third-quarter surge by scoring 10 points in a 17-1 run that handed Chatham a 44-18 lead heading into the final quarter.
"We made enough good plays and we defended well enough," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "I think that was the difference. (Being undefeated) is good for the kids. They deserve it. They worked so hard to get to this point. We'll be prepared to play Linden."
In the third quarter, Jack Rooney (see video below) opened with a 3-pointer from the right corner. Montville (6-6) hit a free throw before LeMon reeled off the next 10 points with a lane jumper, a drive of the baseline (see video below), a follow of his own miss (see video below) and two fast-break layups.
Colin McKenna dropped in two baskets to cap the third quarter for Chatham. In the game, McKenna was a perfect 7-for-7 from the floor. He made 2 of his 3 free throws in scoring 16 points.
"When Rooney and Tristan are shooting like that, it's tough to double-team me," McKenna said. "A lot of times I had single coverage and I took advantage of that."
Tristan LeMon hustles to keep the ball in play and Jack Rooney keeps it alive with a pass back to LeMon, who drives the baseline for the basket
Tristan LeMon follows his own miss to score two of his 10 points in the third quarter
Jack Rooney starts out the third quarter with his third 3-pointer of the game