Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 1
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
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WHOLE PACKAGE: Princeton high boys’ basketball player DeQuan Holman heads to the hoop in action last season. In action last week, senior guard and Tri-captain Holman netted 18 points and had four rebounds and three assists as PHS edged William Allen 44-43 on December 30 in the William Allen Holiday Tournament in Allentown, Pa.

PHS Boys’ Hoops Has Bonding Experience in Pulling Out Win in Allentown Tournament

Bill Alden

Last winter, the Princeton High boys’ basketball team traveled to Allentown, Pa. for the William Allen Holiday Tournament and came away with two losses.

Last week, PHS took another crack at the Allentown event and suffered an initial case of déjà vu as it fell 63-58 to Springfield (Delco) in an opening round contest.

Although the Little Tigers faced the prospect of another winless trip to Pennsylvania, the PHS players kept their chins up.

“What I really liked was the way the guys reacted to the loss,” said Little Tiger second-year head coach Jason Carter.

“They were disappointed but they left it in the past. It was like yeah we lost a game and we will lose others but what is up next.”

What was up next for the Little Tigers was a rematch with host William Allen and head coach Doug Snyder, a former PHS head coach who led the program to a sectional title.

Showing skill and togetherness, PHS finally got a win in Allentown, taking an early lead over the canaries and then holding off a late charge to win 44-43.

Carter was proud of the resolve his players showed as the Little Tigers improved to 2-1 on the season. “The effort was phenomenal,” asserted Carter, noting that his team had lost badly to William Allen last season.

“Our senior captains A.J. [Dowers], Brian [Dunlap] and DeQuan [Holman] really showed their leadership. The basket that put us up by one late in the game was Dunlap driving like we told him and then passing to Jordan Metro who was in for Thatcher Foster. Jordan had just missed one but the guys have confidence in each other.”

The win was also a confidence builder for former PHS hoops star Carter as he matched wits with his high school coach.

“He is one of the coaches I have great respect for,” said Carter. “Not only did he coach me; he is a mentor to me now. He has more knowledge of the game than I have so I am the underdog. I have copied some of the stuff that I have learned from him. I would also like to copy some of the success he has had.”

In Carter’s view, the trip to Pennsylvania could lay the foundation for some future success for his team.

“We wanted to get away from the Princeton High environment and get them out of their comfort level,” explained Carter. “We did some team bonding and the end result was that the guys were supporting each other.”

The maturity being displayed by senior star Holman has helped the Little Tigers bond this season.

“DeQuan has grown up so much; he is a tri-captain and he deserves that role,” said Carter of the senior guard who had 18 points, four rebounds and three assists in the win over William Allen.

“His ability was never a question but his leadership and attitude were. He has answered that question. He is thoughtful; he leads by example. The guys are really connecting with him.”

Junior star Ettin is starting to connect after an uncharacteristically slow start. “He was down on himself after the Hightstown game,” said Carter of Ettin who had 11 points and five rebounds in the William Allen game.

“We changed his position, he has gone from the 4 to the 3 and it takes some adjustment. He is smart and coachable; he’s now picking his shots better.”

The Little Tigers will need to pick things up as they face a tough week which includes a home game against Nottingham on January 8 and then games at North Burlington on January 10 and at Notre Dame on January 13.

“We need to go out and compete; if things don’t work we need to refocus and go after the next one,” said Carter.

“We are in great shape; we have talent. We are still learning the system offensively and defensively. These guys are hungry; they could have been 1-2 after Allentown but they didn’t let that happen.”

And if PHS can keep that hunger, some good things could happen for it this winter.

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