January 23, 2019

PDS Boys’ Hoops Pulls Away from Doane, Sparked by Coit’s Dynamic Performance

DRIVE THROUGH: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player David “Diggy” Coit dribbles past a Doane Academy player in action last Friday night. Senior star Coit scored 21 points in the game to help PDS pull away to a 75-58 victory and improve to 10-6. The Panthers host Princeton High on January 23, play at Germantown Academy (Pa.) on January 26, and then host Pennington on January 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

David “Diggy” Coit passed the 1,000-point mark in his Princeton Day School career last year as a junior and he has been averaging a team-high 20 points a game so far this winter.

But when the dynamic guard didn’t score a point the first quarter last Friday as PDS hosted Doane Academy, he kept his cool.

“We were just trying to see what they were throwing at us,” said Coit. “Our motto is ‘always take it calm’ because if I get frustrated in the first quarter, that is going to set the tone for my team. It is all about being a leader. They were in a box and one and they were trying to take me out of the game. So my team helped me, we just did what we do and we were aggressive.”

In the second quarter, Coit took over the game, tallying 10 points as the Panthers forged ahead 34-28 by halftime.

“That was my main thing to get going,” said Coit. “That is when I started scoring and getting more assists. We started running, I think that is the most important thing for us. When I get going, we are unstoppable.”

In the second half, PDS racheted up the defensive pressure, pulling away to a 75-58 won and improving to 10-6.

“When we went in a halftime, we talked and the main thing I said to the them is that as soon as the third quarter starts, we are going to pick the defense up and that is exactly what we did,” said Coit.

Coit, who ended up with 21 points on the evening, saw the victory as a key step forward for PDS.

“This game was a statement game for us because we are going to see them in the playoffs and we have home court advantage,” asserted Coit. “We were trying to let them know that we are here and we are ready to win.”

Citing the influence of new PDS head coach Doug Davis, a former standout guard for the Princeton University men’s hoops team, Coit is even more ready to excel this winter.

“He has helped me with my growth,” said Coit of Davis. “He is always on me, he makes me run every day. He is definitely coaching me hard.”

Davis, for his part, is enjoying coaching Coit. “The kid can do it all, he has energy; the thing with me is just making sure that he brings 100 percent every time,” said Davis.

“With his potential and the makeup of that kid and the leadership that he brings, there is no way that he shouldn’t be the best player every time he steps on the floor.”

Coit was certainly the best player on the court  in the second quarter with his scoring outburst.

“Whenever Diggy gets going, it helps the team tremendously,” added Davis. “They feed off of his energy, they feed off of him making shots.”

The energy displayed by PDS at the defensive end was a big plus. “That press we jumped into helped us get a lot of steals, deflected passes and everything like that,” said Davis.

“The pressure was really good for us. It definitely changed the tone of the game. The players did it, they went out there and got steals and did whatever they had to.”

The Panthers put Doane’s defense under pressure with balanced scoring as sophomore guard Freddie Young Jr. led the way with 22 points, junior guard Jomar Meekins added 15 points on five 3-pointers and junior forward Jaylin Champion chipped in 10 in addition to the 21 from Coit.

“When everyone plays together and we are pressuring and doing what we do naturally, we are all going to eat,” said Davis. “We are all going to gave really good games.”

Davis credited Meekins and Champion with having particularly good games.

“Jomar has given us tremendous energy on the defensive end and he is also hitting jump shots,” said Davis. “Jaylin got huge blocks on the defensive end and that is what we have been telling him to do. He plays bigger than he is.”

In the view of Davis, topping Doane could prove to be a big win for the Panthers. “This was definitely a game that can spark something,” said Davis, whose team hosts Princeton High on January 23, plays at Germantown Academy (Pa.) on January 26, and then hosts Pennington on January 28.

“It is just staying focused. We have this break coming up so it is getting our guys back on the gym, shooting, and getting back to our game.”

As he heads into the final weeks of his PDS career, Coit is focused on a  championship run.

“The main goal is to win and I am here to win; I want to leave with two state titles,” said Coit, who helped the Panthers win the state Prep B crown in his freshman season with the program.

“I will be back in the gym tomorrow and I am going to do what I do. I know this team has the pieces; we have two main pieces in Jaylin and Freddie and my shooter [Meekins] doing his thing. We have got the team and I don’t think they can stop us.”