December 19, 2018

PDS Girls Hoops Builds on First Victory, Showing Progress in Loss to Willingboro

TALKING IT OVER: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball first-year head coach Liz Sharlow and freshman guard Elle Anhut confer during a game earlier this season. Last Monday, Anhut scored five points in a losing cause as PDS got edged 23-20 by Willingboro. The Panthers, now 1-7, are next in action when they host Hightstown on January 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball team fell 23-20 to visiting Willingboro last Monday, Liz Sharlow viewed the effort as a step forward in her young squad’s development.

“I think as a whole we are definitely growing,” said first year head coach Sharlow, whose squad dropped to 1-7 with the loss.

“I don’t think at the beginning of the season we would have been in that game, so I am proud of them for fighting hard.”

The Panthers put up a quite a fight, rallying from an 18-15 fourth quarter deficit as freshman Elle Anhut swished a three-pointer and classmate Tyler Robinson hit a runner from the side to give PDS a 20-18 lead. After the Chimeras responded with a 5-0 run to go up 23-20, PDS made a last ditch effort as Robinson lofted a three-pointer at the buzzer that just rimmed out.

“In the first half we were a little bit back on our heels but in the second half, we picked it up and had that aggressiveness,” said Sharlow.

“Our younger girls were stepping up to the plate with Elle making that big shot and Tyler taking the big last three. It is nice to see the younger girls feeling more confident.”

Sophomore Anna Ellwood displayed her increased confidence, scoring six points and handling the ball well.

“She is coming back after an injury. I am really proud of her and how she is stepping up,” said Sharlow. “She is filling that role. She had a great game for us today.”

Sharlow is proud of the progress she is seeing from Robinson. “Tyler has been playing great for us,” said Sharlow. “She gives a great effort. She looks to score and brings aggressiveness and the other girls feed off of that.”

In battling Willingboro, the Panthers were feeding off a win as they defeated Villa Victoria 38-9 last Friday to earn their first victory of the season.

“We definitely needed that; we had been building up to that, so it is great to have the win,” said Sharlow. “Today was a good effort. Hopefully they will be more hungry for it when they get back after break.”

With PDS next in action when it hosts Hightstown on January 2, Sharlow believes the holiday hiatus comes at a good time for her squad.

“We need to build on our aggressiveness on offense, looking to score, looking to be threats, and understanding that they all can score,” said Sharlow, noting that veterans Brooke Smukler and Maggie Amaral are due back soon after being sidelined by injury.

“I am looking forward to all of that and it being like a reset for us and having a good attitude moving forward. The girls are great. It is a lot of growing and a lot of growing pains but we are getting through it together. I think it it really builds us as a group and as a team.”

—Bill Alden