CHATHAM, NJ - Top-seeded Chatham began its quest to win a third straight Morris County Tournament title with a workmanlike 62-46 boys basketball win over West Morris on Saturday night.
Other than Jack Rooney's 19-point effort and Andrew Bergman's 12 points off the bench, the big news out of the Cougars' ninth straight victory was that it snapped the team's streak of overtime games at three.
Next up for Chatham (16-3) in the MCT will be a quarterfinal matchup vs. Mendham on Saturday at Randolph High.
"That's the first step," said Chatham coach Todd Ervin of his team's goa to reach its fourth straight MCT final. "I'm disappointed. I thought we could play better. Effort was good. It wasn't a great performance. We have to tighten it up as we go on here."
Rooney connected for four of his five 3-pointers in the first half, helping Chatham take a 36-22 lead into the break. Sophomore Bergman contributed 10 of his 12 points over the first two quarters for the Cougars.
"We got a lot of contributions," Chatham guard Ryan Doherty said. "Rooney hit a bunch of threes in the beginning. I thought we played defense well."
Bergman led the way when Chatham closed out the first half with a 10-4 run. The forward scored eight points in that run and capped his half by dropping in a foul-line jumper.
Chatham sophomore Andrew Bergman came off the bench to score 12 points
The Cougars put any thoughts of a fourth straight OT game away late in the third quarter. Consecutive 3-pointers from Doherty (12 points), Rooney and Mac Bredahl over the final 2:33 of the period gave Chatham a 52-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Jack Rooney hit five 3-pointers on the way to a game-high 19 points for Chatham
Mac Bredahl dribbles into the clear before setting up Ryan Doherty for the 3-pointer
Andrew Bergman scored 10 points in the first half, including this jumper near the end of the second