CHATHAM, NJ - Maybe the Chatham boys basketball team was a little worn down from scoring 92 points two days earlier in its win over Hanover Park.
Whatever it was, the Cougars certainly were lacking something as Morristown came into the CHS gym and ended Chatham's four-game winning streak with a 62-54 win on Wednesday night.
"We just never showed up to play," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "It was a bad effort. We weren't ready to play. I don't know the reason. We just weren't ready to play and they were. Morristown wanted it more than we did."
Senior forward E.J. Leskauskas led Chatham (5-3) with 28 points and junior guard Jack Casano-Boris had 19, but a slow start really hurt the Cougars, who were forced to make an uphill climb after Morristown (2-4) scored the final nine points of the opening period for a 9-5 lead it never relinquished.
"E.J. played great and no one else played very good," Ervin said. "Their other guys played good and ours didn't. That was the difference."
The Colonials had taken a 25-13 lead in the second period before Leskauskas made a personal run of six points in a 26-second span to get Chatham back in it. Leskauskas hit a free throw and then managed to get the rebound of his own missed foul shot and converted it into a basket. He then drained one of his three 3-pointers in the game.
Casano-Boris picked up his offense in the second half, including a drive to the basket in the third quarter (see below) and Cam Rooney followed by hitting his only 3-pointer of the game (see below) off a pass from Leskauskas.
In its win at Hanover Park on Monday, the Cougars had closed the game with a 30-point fourth quarter. Chatham didn't hit the 30-point mark until there was 1:09 left in the third quarter against Morristown when Leskauskas hit his 3-pointer from the top of the key (see below) that cut the deficit to 37-31.
Leskauskas started the fourth-quarter scoring with a pull-up jumper (see below), but Morristown kept Chatham at bay by sinking 17 of 20 free throws (85 percent) over the final eight minutes.
COUGAR NOTES: Jack Casano-Boris scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter for Chatham when the Cougars put on a full-court press and tried to make a last-gasp run. In that quarter, he made a steal by diving to the floor for a loose ball and made a remarkable play by banking home a shot while balancing on one knee to avoid a traveling violation ... Morristown made 11 straight free throws in the fourth quarter ... Chatham plays host to Randolph with a 7 p.m. tipoff on Saturday.