Chatham Women’s Basketball Celebrates Section Title
Chatham defeated Randolph, 39-35, in the North 2 Group 3 Women’s Basketball Section Final.
Nick Gantaifis, Morristown Daily Record
CHATHAM – Chatham won the rubber match and won a title.
After splitting two meetings earlier this season, the Cougars busted for 23 second-half points to come back and defeat Randolph, 39-35, in the NJSIAA North 2 Group 3 Finals.
It is Chatham’s first section title since 2019 and sixth in program history.
Chatham (19-10) will face Sparta on Wednesday in the Group 3 North semi-final at Ramapo High School. Sparta beat Ramapo, 47-43, on Monday in the North Section 1 final.
“We knew on offense we had to go out and put screens on, especially since they were overplaying me a lot in the first half,” said junior guard Riley Allen, who scored a team-high 11 points. . “As a team, we slowed down. They played a very good defense. We waited for good shots and really turned it on. I’m really proud of this team. We have had a difficult year since last year. We have been working hard since June. We are a young team and I am proud to be part of it.
Following: Sparta Women’s Basketball Holds Scrappy Ramapo For First Section Title Since 2006
2-seeded Randolph (20-9), playing in his second straight section final after winning the Group 4 crown in 2020, came out on top in the first half, taking a 14- 8 in the first quarter and a 20-16 advantage at the break.
Madison Jenisch scored eight points in the first quarter for the Rams and had two free throws in the second. She finished with a game-high 13 points.
What this means
Chatham is the section champion for the second time in three years.
The Cougars have now made it to three straight Section Finals, falling to Warren Hills in the 2020 title game.
Chatham have won six games in a row since losing back-to-back clashes to Sparta and Morris Catholic last month.
Chatham and Sparta will meet for the third time this season in Wednesday’s state semi-finals. The Cougars are 0-2 against the Spartans.
The key games
Trailing by four points early in the second half, Chatham tied the game at 20-20 two minutes into the third quarter. A minute later, Ella Kreuzer gave the top-seeded Cougars their first lead when she connected on two free throws.
With two minutes left in the third quarter, Kreuzer gave the Cougars a 30-24 lead on a field goal.
Chatham took its biggest lead in the fourth quarter when Allen knocked down a three-pointer to give the home side a 38-25 advantage with six minutes remaining.
By the numbers
► Kreuzer finished with 10 points and was 5 of 6 from the free throw line.
► Chatham’s Carly Frohnapfel scored eight points.
They said it
” That feels good. I’m super proud of this group. We knew we had a talented squad, but we’re super young and I wasn’t sure at the start of the season if we had the experience to get here. We have grown very quickly in the last month. Our conference prepared us for this and it was great to do it in front of the local fans. Cougar Nation was full tonight. – Chatham coach Joe Gaba
“It’s unbelievable. Last year was a tough year and it gave us so much motivation to go out and win this year. The last time we played them we couldn’t score much. We knew that it would happen until the end. I’m proud that we stayed calm and were able to hold on. – Frohnapfel
Nick Gantaifis is a high school sports reporter for DailyRecord.com and northjersey.com. For full access to live scores, breaking news and analysis from our Varsity Aces team, subscribe today. To get the latest news straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter and download our app.
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