Chatham Boys Basketball Tops Somerville in Cougar Classic Finale

Jack Rooney scored 10 of his 17 points in the first half for Chatham Credits: Glenn Clark
Mac Bredahl sends the ball inside Credits: Glenn Clark
Chatham guard Mac Bredahl goes up for two of his game-high 21 points Credits: Glenn Clark
Jack Rooney makes the steal for Chatham Credits: Glenn Clark
Chris Conlin reaches for a rebound Credits: Glenn Clark
Chatham guard Jack Rooney takes a pull-up jumper Credits: Glenn Clark
Mac Bredahl passes the ball to Andrew Bergman Credits: Glenn Clark
Daniel Baker (34) defends the lane for Chatham Credits: Glenn Clark
Chris Conlin, Daniel Baker and Ryan Doherty eye the rebound Credits: Glenn Clark
Ryan Doherty comments after Mac Bredahl makes a 3-pointer and is fouled on the play Credits: Glenn Clark
Chatham senior Mac Bredahl heads to the basket Credits: Glenn Clark
Jack Rooney races up court for Chatham Credits: Glenn Clark

CHATHAM, NJ - When the Chatham boys basketball team is getting good looks at the basket, they can be a tough team to handle.

That was evident on Friday night when the Cougars connected early and ran away from Somerville, 78-52, in the final game of the Cougar Classic.

The Cougars hit their first six shots of the game from the floor and also sank all four of their free throws in the opening period to grab a 26-14 lead.

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"We definitely shot the ball better tonight," Chatham senior guard Mac Bredahl said. "That's a talented team that we beat. It's a good win and to defeat them pretty handily is nice. It gives us confidence after a tough loss to New Providence (Wednesday)."

Bredahl led the way with 21 points and backcourt mate Jack Rooney dropped in 17 points to pace Chatham (5-2), which received nine points from Andrew Bergman, and eight apiece from Ryan Doherty and E.J. Leskauskas

Chatham scored the first nine points of the third quarter to build a 43-23 lead. Doherty drove the baseline and scored as he was fouled. He sank the bonus free throw and Dan Baker scored inside off a pass from Chris Conlin, who had received an over-the-shoulder pass from Rooney (see below).

Doherty then made a foul shot before capping the run when he received a pass from Bredahl and dropped in a 3-pointer from the right corner (see below).

After Chris Elwood scored for Somerville (2-5), Bredahl continued the burst for Chatham with a baseline jumper and Rooney followed with a steal that he turned into a layup for a 47-25 lead with 4:06 left in the third.

"Again, our emphasis on offense is to get everyone involved and find the great shots," Bredahl said. "We're going to get good shots, but we want to find the great shots, easy threes and easy layups. That worked out for us tonight. We were able to make the shots we should and we held them to 52 points, which isn't great, but it was enough tonight."

Sophomore forward Leskauskas came through with three straight baskets for Chatham late in the third quarter and Bredahl capped the big quarter when he nailed a 3-pointer with just 0.3 seconds showing on the clock as he was fouled. He sank the bonus free throw for a four-point play and a 57-36 lead.

E.J. Leskauskas scored six of his eight points in the third quarter for the Cougars

In the fourth quarter, Rooney hit his third 3-pointer of the game, Bredahl scored off a Leskauskas return pass and Bredahl drove to drop in a one-hander, staking the Cougars to a 69-42 advantage with 4:25 to play. Seconds later, Chatham coach Todd Ervin emptied his bench.

COUGAR NOTES: The Cougars hit their first six shots of the game and connected on nine of 12 attempts in the opening period when they moved to a 26-14 lead. ... Chatham also hit nine of 12 shots in the third quarter, equaling the 26 points scored by the Cougars in the first period ... Chatham plays next 7 p.m. Wednesday at Morristown.

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