CHATHAM, NJ - A shooting percentage of 27 percent resulted in the fewest points scored by the Chatham boys basketball team this season.
The 47-32 loss to Pope John at home on Tuesday night also represented the first two-game losing streak for the Cougars in two years.
"I think we struggled offensively and missed way too many shots," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "We had open shots, especially in the second half. Everything looked front rim. I don't know if it's an issue or just one game where we didn't shoot well. We just didn't shoot it well, for whatever reason."
Pope John (5-7) played a swarming 3-2 zone that gave made Chatham (9-3) work for its shots and the Cougars weren't able to get many easy baskets in transition.
"We should have gotten the ball inside to our bigs more," Chatham guard Ryan Doherty said. "We didn't play well against their zone."
Chatham, which had its nine-game winning streaked snapped Friday by Morristown-Beard, hit just two of 13 shots (15 percent) in the opening period and trailed, 16-5, heading into the second quarter.
The Cougars showed some life in the second quarter when Mac Bredahl scored a fast-break layup on a steal and pass from Graham LeMon. Jack Rooney then scored in a transition off a pass from Bredahl, set up by a dive to the floor by Johnny Maurer for the loose ball.
Later in the second, Chris Conlin knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:08 left in the half and LeMon received a pass from Doherty and turned it into a three-point play when he was fouled. LeMon drove to the basket for two points with 27 seconds left, cutting the deficit to 23-18 heading into the break.
Bredahl's 3-pointer with 4:25 to go in the third quarter pulled Chatham to within, 29-23, but Pope John pulled away after that. In the fourth quarter, Pope John opened with an 8-1 burst and the Cougars didn't score a basket until Maurer hit a jumper with 52 seconds left and Donnie McAuliffe drove for two with four seconds showing.
Last season, Chatham put together two 14-game winning streaks in a 28-2 season. The last two-game skid came in 2015.
"We just have to forget about it," Ervin said. "We have practice tomorrow and a big tame Friday (at Montville))."
Samba Diallo led the way for Pope John with 13 points and 12 rebounds. LeMon's nine points paced Chatham.
Overall, the Cougars hit just 13 of 48 shots from the floor, including a 2-for-17 showing (12 percent) from 3-point range.
Johnny Maurer grabs the rebound and takes it to the basket for Chatham in the third quarter
Mac Bredahl hits one of two 3-pointers made in the game for Chatham