There’s no denying that as senior guard Maddie Hartnett goes, so does Chatham High School’s girls’ basketball team.
That was evident as the University of Scranton commit poured in a game-high 18 points en route to helping the top-seeded Lady Cougars to a 52-33 win over eighth-seeded Summit in the quarterfinals of the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 tournament in Chatham.
Harnett didn’t score any points in the first period, but the Lady Cougars (22-5) managed to claim a 9-8 lead over the Hilltoppers.
But Hartnett opened the second quarter with four straight points while senior forward Shannon Donohoe and junior point guard Tess Ford added four and three of their own, respectivley, to stake Chatham to 20-10 advantage midway through the period.
Hartnett drained a three-pointer and Donohoe added four more points, including ending the first half with a pretty reverse lay-in to give the Lady Cougars a 27-12 lead.
Hartnett posted eight more points to help Chatham distance itself, 38-18, in the third quarter.
Even though the Lady Cougars held a commanding advantage, they still played tenacious defense in the fourth period, countering Summit’s aggressiveness with a bit of their own to help them secure the win.
“Like I’ve said, we always play D, from the tip to the last point,” longtime head coach Joe Gaba said.
And Gaba doesn’t expect his squad’s intensity to let up anytime soon.
“This time of year, anything can happen. You’re seeing good competition as the tournament progresses. We’ll have the four or five seed here on Friday night, and we have to play well to win.”
Playing stellar hoops, Donohoe contributed 12 points and a team-best 11 rebounds in the triumph.
Olivia Lawlor scored a team-best for Summit (15-11) with 13 points.
Chatham will host eighth-seeded West Morris in the semifinals on Friday at 7:00 p.m.
— Jerry Del Priore