March 13, 2019

PDS Girls’ Hoops Showed Growth, Character, as Young Players Gained Valuable Experience

ON THE BALL: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball player Tyler Robinson handles the ball in a game this winter. Freshman guard Robinson made steady progress in her debut campaign as PDS went 2-19 under new head coach Liz Sharlow. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

On paper, it would appear that it was a rough winter for Liz Sharlow as she took the helm of the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball program.

Although PDS took its lumps in posting a 2-19 record, former Lehigh University women’ hoops star Sharlow enjoyed her debut campaign.

“It was a learning experience; it was great to see how much the girls grew,” said Sharlow. “I learned a lot from the girls; they were great teammates and worked so hard. They made it so much fun.”

The Panthers had a lot of fun coming through with a 35-33 overtime win against Lawrence High in the final week of the season.

“It was an exciting win; it was an overtime game,” said Sharlow of the February 13 contest. “Gwen [Allen] and Brooke [Smukler] fouled out so some of the younger players really stepped up. Tyler Robinson had a big game, she really played well. Elle Anhut stepped up. Maggie Amaral had some big rebounds.”

With a roster featuring four freshmen and four sophomores, a youthful PDS squad gained some valuable experience this winter.

“They really improved and showed some resilience,” said Sharlow, whose corps of young players included freshmen Robinson, Anhut, and Madeline Nowack along with sophomores Anna Ellwood, Anna-Marie Zhang, Caroline Topping, and Abigail Weinstein. “We had some tough games.”

Senior captains Brooke Smukler and Gwen Allen showed toughness as they led their younger teammates.

“Brooke was a big scorer for us; Gwen was a great rebounder and a defender,” said Sharlow, whose roster also included another senior Laurel Peters.

“She showed a lot of leadership and heart; she is just so intense and competitive.”

In Sharlow’s view, the Panthers have what it takes to be more competitive next season.

“It comes down the the work they put in over the offseason, I definitely think we have a foundation to build from,” said Sharlow.

“They showed so much progress from the beginning of the year to the end of the season. They believed in one another; I developed trust in them and they trusted me. They were a great group. We have an exciting future.”