Utilizing his Experience as Three-Year Starter, Senior Guy Leading the Way for PHS Boys’ Hoops
HARD DRIVING: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Ethan Guy, right, drives to the hoop in recent action. Last Monday, senior forward Guy tallied 16 points in a losing cause as PHS fell 50-40 to Lawrence High. The Tigers, now 0-4, are slated to host Steinert on February 17 and Trenton Central on February 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
As a three-year starter for the Princeton High boys’ basketball team, Ethan Guy is looking to give his teammates the benefit of his experience.
“It is being that leader to keep this program running and build up a lot of these juniors and sophomores,” said senior forward Guy. “I am trying to be a leader and let them experience the varsity level.”
Last Monday, Guy set a good example for the squad’s younger players, tallying 16 points in a losing cause as PHS fell 50-40 to Lawrence High, dropping to 0-4. While a late Tiger rally fell short, the squad did show some offensive cohesion, particularly in the second quarter when they outscored the Cardinals 13-9.
“I felt that we were comfortable, we had three practices this week,” said Guy. “We implemented some more and added on to that offense a little bit. It is nice to just get comfortable.”
Although Guy’s offensive output was solid, he wasn’t totally comfortable with his performance.
“I have to shoot a little better, it is getting into rhythm,” said Guy.
“It has been tough with this whole situation. It is nice to be able to run again and get some hoops.”
Guy was excited to get to play with classmate and point guard Tim Evidente, who returned to action on Monday after suffering a leg injury in the season opener in late January.
“It is nice playing with a friend and getting him back,” said Guy. “I am glad that he is healthy.”
Although the defeat to Lawrence stung, Guy believes PHS took a step forward.
“This is a good building block,” said Guy. “We were up at half. We are just taking the positives and going on to the next game. It was tough to lose that.”
As he has matured, Guy has built himself into a tougher presence around the basket.
“I feel more physical, I feel more comfortable in my body as a senior,” said Guy.
“I am one of the older and more physical guys on the court this season and that is to my advantage, banging down low and getting some fouls.”
Diversifying his game, Guy is hoping to play at the college level.
“That is definitely a goal of mine,” said Guy, who is looking at Division III programs. “I am just trying to find the right fit, school-wise and athletic-wise. Hopefully we can get some more games and just keep playing.”
PHS head coach Pat Noone was happy with the way Guy produced against Lawrence.
“We are trying to move some pieces and get something going,” said Noone.
“I think we hit something with Ethan playing the mid post. It gave him some free rein and he played well. He gave us some buckets.”
Getting the deft passer Evidente back helped spark the PHS defense.
“Without him, we were really lost the last two and half games,” said Noone.
“It is good to have him back with his ability as a ball handler. He is like a coach out there, he executes everything. He is a good kid and a good player.”
Junior guard Jaxon Petrone stepped up with a very good game against Lawrence, scoring from long distance as he contributed 13 points.
“Jaxon Petrone hit some big threes, that was pretty cool,” said Noone. “I think he hit four threes and played better defense so he did well overall.”
While PHS pulled to within five points of Lawrence in the waning moments of the contest as it trailed 43-38 at one point, it couldn’t get over the hump down the stretch.
“We just didn’t execute; we left a lot of buckets out there,” said Noone.
“It was a great fight. It is such a difficult situation that we are in and just the fact that they are able to come out here every day and put in the effort and get it done is fantastic. All of the credit to them for doing it.”
Noone acknowledged the team has faced challenges in sharpening its execution with the season delayed from the usual November start to mid-January.
“It is hard not having that preseason; it was two weeks and then you jump into games and then you have a snowstorm,” said Noone.
“We are a program that likes to work on development and without having that it is tough.”
Looking ahead, Noone believes his players are still developing notwithstanding the challenges they have faced this season.
“It is just to enjoy it and just give them all the opportunity to play, have fun, and have some semblance of a high school season,” said Noone, whose team is slated to host Steinert on February 17 and Trenton Central on February 23.
“Having everybody show up and do everything they possibly can has been great. I think overall, it is moving in the right direction. We just need more time.”
Guy, for his part, is relishing any time he gets on the court in his abbreviated senior campaign.
“It is making the most out of the season,” said Guy. “It changes every week. I am just trying to enjoy every game and every practice because it may be my last.”