Nottingham senior Cliff Joseph (left) is the Northstars all-time leading scorer and Chatham High Schools all-time leading scorer, senior Jack Rooney(right) will attempt to lead there teams to the Group 3 Basketball State Tournament Title, Sunday, March 11 at Rutgers University. Photo of Cliff Joseph by Michael A. Sabo. Photo of Jack Rooney by Glenn Clark. http://glennclarkphotography.com/
By Ed Barmakian
Mar. 10: Ed Barmakian is a lifelong Chatham resident who has run TAPinto Chatham, a hyperlocal online news site exclusively covering Chatham. Barmakian has covered Chatham sports through TAP since 2013 and has covered the Cougars extensively this season. On the eve of Sunday’s Group III provides this scouting report exclusively for Fish4scores.com.
No. Name Ht Yr. Pos. Scoring Avg.
2 Mac Bredahl 5-9 Sr. G 13.9 ppg.
3 Jack Rooney 5-9 Sr. G 12.5 ppg.
5 Ryan Doherty 6-0 Jr. G 9.3 ppg.
13 Chris Conlin 6-2 Sr. F 7.2 ppg.
34 Dan Baker 6-6 Sr. F 7.2 ppg.
Key reserves: 33-Andrew Bergman (F); 25-E.J. Leskauskas (F).
PATH TO FINALS
Feb. 26: Defeated Orange, 55-45 (High scorer Ryan Doherty, 14 points)
Feb. 28: Defeated Gov. Livingston, 43-41 (High scorer Jack Rooney, 14 points)
Mar. 3: Defeated Snyder, 60-57 (High scorer Mac Bredahl, 16 points)
Mar. 6: Defeated Irvington, 61-45, in North II Title Game (High scorer Mac Bredahl, 20 points)
Mar. 9: Defeated Demarest @East Orange High, 45-34 in Gr. 3 Semis (High scorer Jack Rooney & Mac Bredahl, 15 points each)
ABOUT THE COUGARS
The one constant for the Cougars over the last four years has been its guard play, led by senior Jack Rooney, a four-year starter and the all-time leading boys basketball scorer with 1,408 points. His backcourt mate Mac Bredahl is the perfect complement as the point guard. Both handle the ball well and can shoot the three as well as drive to the basket.
Chatham has been to four straight Morris County Tournament Championship games, winning the last three. The Cougars also have been to four straight NJSIAA sectional championship games and this season won it for the first time since 2007.
The Cougars are known for playing a tough man-to-man defense and rebound surprisingly well for a team without a lot of size. They will push the ball up court, given the opportunity and have four player in their three-guard lineup, Rooney, Bredahl, Doherty and Conlin who can all knock down the 3-pointer. Sophomore Bergman has produced off the bench on the offensive boards for the Cougars.
Chatham is unlikely to wilt in a tight ballgame. They’ve played four overtime games this season, winning three of them. In the sectionals, Rooney hit a jumper in the closing seconds to defeat Gov. Livingston in the quarterfinals and Rooney’s 3-pointer at the buzzer defeated Snyder in the sectional semifinals.
The key to beating the Cougars will be to get a lead on them. Down the stretch, Chatham can beat you at the foul line. In the state semifinal vs. Demarest, the Cougars made 15 straight free throw and 19 of 21 overall (90 percent).
You can read Nottingham’s scouting report Fish4Scores.com by clicking here: TAPintoChatham