Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 11
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
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BLOCK PARTY: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Tara Thomas, right, blocks a shot during her PHS career. Overcoming an early-season injury this winter, senior standout Thomas helped the Little Tigers to a second straight trip to the state tournament.

Senior Standout Thomas Fought Through Injury As PHS Girls’ Hoops Competed Hard to the End

Bill Alden

For Tara Thomas, things didn’t start off well this winter in her senior season on the Princeton High girls’ basketball team.

“I pulled a quad in the beginning of the season,” said guard Thomas. “I played through it. I was going to physical therapy every week. In the beginning of the season, I didn’t have my shot. I was not getting my legs under me.”

Thomas’ struggles mirrored the team’s uneven start as it stood at 5-8 by early February.

“We started off rough,” said Thomas, noting that other players were dealing with injuries. “There were a lot of good teams in the CVC, we lost some close games.”

Showing resilience, PHS played some of its best basketball down the stretch, culminating the season with a second trip to the state tournament.

“I think we definitely had our best patch of the season over the last two weeks,” said Thomas.

“The Hamilton game was a big one. It was a division game and we lost by three. In the earlier game with them we had lost by 20.”

The team’s solid play coincided with Thomas getting back to full speed. “By the end of the season, my quad felt really good,” said Thomas. “As the season progressed, my shot got better and I got my wind back.”

While the season for the Little Tigers ended earlier this month with an 83-50 defeat to Holmdel in the first round of the state tournament, Thomas was proud of how the team competed.

“We definitely had a rough start in the game but then we played well,” recalled Thomas, who scored seven point in the loss which left the Little Tigers with a final record of 7-14.

“We had five seniors on the floor at the same time. Molly [Barber] hit a shot at the buzzer. We tried hard.”

For Thomas, the experience of playing with classmates Barber, Talya Nakash, and Julie Barry will be hard to forget.

“Molly, Talya, Julia, and I have been playing together since elementary school; that is a long time,” said Thomas, a versatile athlete who also rows for the Mercer Junior Rowing Club.

“It is sad for it to end. Alicia Franklin and Lexi Stasi were two new seniors this year and they blended in well.”

Thomas is happy with how she was able to blend in with the program over her career.

“It has been really nice; I will miss it,” asserted Thomas, who is headed to the University of Michigan where she plans to walk on to the rowing team.

“I definitely enjoyed my four years on the team. I really liked the team. I wouldn’t want to be with any other group of girls.”

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