CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham boys basketball team put a missing piece of its offensive puzzle back in place on Monday night during its win over Madison in the finale of the Cougar Classic.
The part that was missing for Chatham over the first four games of the season was the inside presence of senior Andrew Bergman. The 6-3 forward led Chatham with 13 points in the 51-46 win over the Dodgers and provided the Cougars with the inside game it had been lacking.
"We had to get it inside today and he gave us much-needed points," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "He had a big bucket inside toward the end."
Andrew Bergman talks about the win while icing down the ankle he turned in the fourth quarter
Chatham (3-2) had built an 11-point lead in the third quarter before the Dodgers (2-3) scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to close the gap to 40-37.
But Bergman hit a turnaround shot off a feed from E.J. Leskauskas (see the video below) with 3:25 to go and Leskauskas scored on a putback (see video below) to boost the lead to 44-37 with 2:48 to go.
Junior guard Jack Casano-Boris, who finished with 12 points, hit five free throws down the stretch for Chatham before senior Luke Fekete iced the game with two free throws with 17 seconds left.
"(Bergman) had a great game," Chatham guard Cam Rooney said. "Getting him involved down low is part of our offense that we need to work on. He can get a lot of points down there. Good ball movement and smart shots win games.
"It was a lot like the last game (Somerville). We came out hot and kind of let them back in the game. We also closed it out. Having the home crowd behind us really provided us with a lot of energy. We have to play smart basketball, that's what it came down to. One person can score 20 points, but if we're not winning games it doesn't mean anything."
Rooney scored seven of his nine points during a 12-0 streak in the third quarter that staked Chatham to a 38-27 advantage. Rooney ignited the run with a drive to the basket (see below)
Rooney followed with a 3-pointer before Casano-Boris sent Bergman in for a layup with a perfect no-look pass that bounced between the legs of a Madison player and into the hands of Bergman (see below).
Ryan Leskauskas then hit a 3-pointer off a pass from Casano-Boris before Rooney capped the run with a pull-up jumper.