Vol. LXII, No. 51
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
(Photo by Bill Allen)/NJ SportAction)
LATE SURGE: Princeton University womens basketball star Whitney Downs drives to the basket in recent action. Last Sunday, Downs chipped in 13 points but it wasnt enough as Princeton fell 64-56 to visiting Sacred Heart. Downs has averaged 15.8 points a game in her last four outings to help Princeton move to 4-5 on the season. The 511 native of Franklin, Tenn. has been on a tear since exploding for a career-high 24 points against California on December 6.
Over the first 79 games of her career with the Princeton University womens basketball team, Whitney Downs averaged 5.9 points a game.
Priding herself on her ability to play defense and make steals, the 511 Downs didnt see herself as an offensive force for the Tigers.
But then in game 80 of her career, something strange happened as Downs and her teammates played at No. 3 California on December 6 in the Colliers International Classic.
Downs suddenly became an offensive whiz, exploding for a career-high 24 points, hitting on 9 of 13 shots as the Tigers gamely battled Cal in a 75-53 loss.
James Mooney isnt the kind of soccer player who immediately catches your eye.
The 511, 163-pound Mooney isnt a prolific goal scorer nor does he possess dazzling ball skills.
Instead, Mooneys forte centers around doing the grunt work on the field, chasing down balls and making the most of the chances that he creates through his hustle.
Last winter, the Princeton High boys basketball team produced one of the feel-good stories in local hoops circles.
Rebounding from a 7-15 campaign in 2006-07, the Little Tigers went 12-11 last season and made the state playoffs for the first time since 2001.
While PHS didnt have a long stay in the state tourney, losing to Monmouth in the first round, the Little Tiger players vowed to use the experience as a springboard to bigger and better things.
With the 2008-09 campaign about to get underway, the PHS players appear to have lived up to those promises.
It didnt take long for Cara Fiori to display her outside shooting prowess as the Hun School girls basketball team hosted Gwynedd-Mercy Academy (Pa.) last Saturday.
Fiori swished a three-pointer in the opening minutes of the contest to put Hun up 3-0.
The 511 senior forward hit two more 3-pointers in the first quarter to help set the tone as the Raiders raced out to a 19-2 lead on the way to a 71-18 rout of overmatched Gwynedd-Mercy.
As she reflected on the win which lifted Hun to 4-0 on the season, Fiori enjoyed being able to pick her spots in the one-sided contest.
Things didnt go well in the beginning or at the end as the Princeton Day School girls ice hockey team played Rye Country Day School last Sunday in the championship game of its annual PDS Invitational Tournament.
Six minutes into the game, the Panthers found themselves trailing Rye 2-0.
With PDS goalie Bryanna Mayes coming up big, the Panthers held the fort through the middle of the game and were behind 2-0 heading into the third period.
The Panthers, though, were unable to produce a happy ending as they gave up a goal early in the third period. Later, they suffered a scare as junior defenseman Savannah Hecker skidded into the boards and collapsed in a heap, crying in agony. Hecker was taken off the ice on a back board and left the rink in an ambulance.
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