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Vol. LXV, No. 49
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
PARIS MATCH: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Paris Branker puts on the defensive pressure in a game last winter. The Tartans will be depending on senior guard Branker to provide intensity at both ends of the court this winter. Last Thursday, Branker scored a team-high 12 points as Stuart fell 57-27 to Pennington in the season opener for both teams.

Stuart Hoops Emphasizing Balance Featuring an Inside-Out Approach

Bill Alden

Over the past few seasons, the Stuart Country Day School basketball team featured a guard-oriented attack.

With such dynamic backcourt stars as Diamond Lewis, Amber Bowman, and Jasmine Smarr, the Tartans employed an up-tempo style that gave foes fits.

But with Lewis graduating in 2010 and the other two this past June, Stuart will be going at a slower tempo this winter.

“We will be a more controlled offense,” said Stuart head coach Tony Bowman, who guided the Tartans to a 6-11 mark last season. “The last few years it was outside-in; this year it is inside-out.”

Stuart features some talent in the paint with the trio of senior Jen Diaz, junior Summer Ramsay-Burrough, and sophomore Juliane Raab.

“Diaz cleans things up,” said Bowman, who will be using freshmen Neka Onkwugha and freshman Harlyn Bell as reserves in the frontcourt.

“She is aggressive; she puts her body on people and fights for every rebound. We need Diaz, Ramsay-Burrough, and Raab to play well.”

Bowman believes he has a good one-two punch at guard in seniors Paris Branker and Angela Gallagher.

“We need Paris and Angela to take leadership roles and shoot well from the outside,” said Bowman, who will be giving minutes to sophomore Simrit Gill in the backcourt.

“Paris will be a focus of our scoring. Angela brings speed and is very competitive.”

In a season-opening 57-27 loss at the Pennington School last Thursday, the Tartans displayed flashes of competitive play.

“Paris had a good game and Angela had a good game,” said Bowman, noting that his team played well in the second and the fourth quarters but struggled at the beginning of each half.

“Raab was productive. I was very happy with her. I put her in the low post and she made some big-man moves. She had a nice hook move and a jump shot. We will be keeping her at the four.”

In Bowman’s view, Stuart can have a nice season if his players develop into a cohesive unit.

“The talent level is similar throughout the team; the seniors are a step above but after that the playing level is about the same,” said Bowman, whose club will be taking part in a tournament at the Solebury School (Pa.) this weekend.

“We may not have as much talent on this team as in recent years but if we play well as a team, we can be competitive.”

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