CHATHAM, NJ - All the good work Chatham put in to erase an eight-point halftime deficit and take the lead in the fourth quarter was ruined over a two-minute span on Tuesday night.
The Cougars just couldn't escape the grips of Delbarton's trapping press, with the Green Wave stealing the ball four times down the stretch in swiping a 58-54 boys basketball win away from Chatham.
Chatham (6-4) took its final lead of the game with 4:42 showing in the fourth quarter when Andrew Bergman scored off a bounce pass from E.J. Leskauskas (see video below) and turned it into a three-point play and a 46-45 lead.
But over the next two minutes, Delbarton (7-2) would put together a 10-0 run, stealing the ball four times. The Green Wave's full-court press trapped the ballhandler and forced Chatham into some poor decisions.
Chatham turned the ball over three straight times while trying to inbound the ball. Isaiah Washington, who ended with four steals and 16 points, had two baskets during the run that handed the Green Wave a 55-46 lead.
"We did a horrible job of getting the ball in," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "It's not like we don't work on it. We were just weak with it. Cam (Rooney) and Jack (Casano-Boris) had the ball taken from them. Hopefully, with experience they'll learn, but we just did a bad job with it. It was all of us. We weren't even getting the ball down the court.
"We also couldn't stop 22 (Isaiah Washington). The turnovers and 22, that was the difference in the game."
Rooney, who scored 14 points, ended the Chatham drought with two free throws with 2:30 left that cut the deficit to 55-48. Bergman closed out his 15-point effort when he scored with five seconds to go.
Delbarton had taken a 31-23 lead into the halftime break before the Cougars came alive in the third quarter with a 16-6 surge, which was fueled by consecutive 3-pointers from Rooney and Ryan Leskauskas (see videos below).
In the fourth quarter, Jameson Shi made the pass inside to Bergman, who scored (see below) before Bergman completed his three-point play for the 46-54 edge.
COUGAR NOTES: Sophomore guard Cam Rooney continued to excel at the foul line, where he sank 7 of 7 vs. Delbarton as Chatham hit 18 of 22 free throws as a team. Including Rooney's 9-for-9 performance in the win over Randolph on Saturday, he's 16-for-16 from the line over his last two games ... Delbarton hit just 50 percent of its fouls, 9-for-18, vs. Chatham ... With 2:04 left in the third quarter, Cougar senior E.J. Leskauskas had to leave the game with a sore Achilles tendon but was able to return in the fourth quarter with tape supporting his tendon. He picked up four of his five assists in the second half ... Delbarton was credited with 10 steals in the game, four by Washington ... Chatham plays at Mendham 7 p.m. Thursday.