January 10, 2018

ROAD WORK: Hun School boys’ hockey Guillaume Hebert heads up the ice in a game earlier this season. Senior forward Hebert has emerged as a scoring threat for Hun this winter. The Raiders, who fell 8-1 to Don Bosco last Wednesday at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y. after competing in the Purple Puck Tournament in the Washington, D.C. area from December 29-30, are back in New Jersey for a busy week. Hun, now 7-4-1, hosts Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) on January 10 and Seton Hall Prep on January 11 before playing at Lawrenceville on January 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last few weeks, the Hun School boys’ hockey team has been on quite an odyssey.

From December 28-30, Hun was based in the Washington D.C. area as it competed in the Purple Puck Tournament. The Raiders started 2018 by making a trip to Flushing, N.Y. last Wednesday where they faced Don Bosco at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, the site of the NHL’s Winter Classic two days earlier. more

ALL HANDS ON DECK: Members of the Hun School swimming team enjoy the moment after they defeated Hamilton West 99-71 last Saturday. The Raiders, now 1-1, swim at Blair Academy on January 10.

By Bill Alden

For Joan Nuse, the main focus in coaching the Hun School swimming program is more on development than the win-loss record.

“The main thing for all of our kids is just to watch them get better and work on improving,” said Hun head coach Nuse, whose coed team topped Hamilton West 99-71 last Saturday to improve 1-1. more

BIG BEN: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Ben Drezner goes after the puck in recent action. Last Wednesday, Drezner tallied three goals and an assist as PHS defeated Steinert 10-1 in its first game of 2018. The Little Tigers, who dropped to 7-2-2 with a 2-0 loss at Wayne Hills last Sunday, play Notre Dame on January 10 at the Mercer County Skating Center, South Brunswick on January 12 at Pro Skate, and Westfield on January 13 at the Union Sports Arena. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though Tim Chase was disappointed by the result as his Princeton High boys’ hockey team fell 2-0 to Wayne Hills last Sunday evening, he views the game as a valuable learning experience for his squad. more

STICK FIGHT: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Nic Petruolo, left, battles a foe in a game last season. Senior defenseman and Union-bound Petruolo chipped in an assist to help PDS defeat Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 3-0 last Wednesday. The Panthers, now 8-4, play at Hill School (Pa.) on January 10 before heading to New England to play at Portsmouth Abbey School (R.I.) on January 12 and at Worcester Academy (Mass.) on January 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Nic Petruolo relished the challenge as the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team hosted powerhouse Don Bosco in the championship game of the Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational.

“Coming into this game, they were rated as the best team in the state right now so as a player being a competitor, this is one of the games that you want to play your best,” said Petruolo. “All of our guys battled.” more

FINAL PUSH: Princeton University men’s hockey player David Hallisey tangles with a foe in a game earlier this season. Senior forward Hallisey is enjoying a big final campaign for the Tigers as he is tied with junior Ryan Kuffner for the team lead in goals with 11. Princeton, which fell 4-0 to No. 17 Colgate to drop to 6-9-3 overall and 3-7-1 ECAC Hockey, plays at Harvard on January 12 and at Dartmouth on January 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

David Hallisey is enjoying a big senior season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team, but he sees it as a matter of being at the right place at the right time more than anything else.

“I have to give all the credit to the junior class of [Max] Veronneau, [Ryan] Kuffner, and those guys,” said Hallisey who has tallied 11 goals so far this season to tie him with Kuffner for the team lead. “I just kind of stand in front of the net and they give me the puck.” more

FRANK EXCHANGE: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sharon Frankel, right, fights for the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, freshman forward Frankel scored a goal in a losing cause as Princeton fell 3-2 to No. 4 Colgate. The Tigers, now 6-10-4 overall and 5-8-1 ECAC Hockey, host Brown on January 12 and Yale on January 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sharon Frankel stands only 5’1 but she is making a big impact in her freshman season with the Princeton University women’s hockey team.

After tallying a goal and an assist in her first 15 games for the Tigers, she has chipped in two goals and an assist over her last five appearances. more

SNAP DECISION: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jerome Desrosiers dribbles the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, freshman Desrosiers made his Ivy League debut, contributing eight points and five rebounds in a losing cause as Princeton fell 76-70 at Penn in the Ivy opener for both teams. The defeat snapped the Tigers’ 18-game winning streak in Ivy League regular season and tournament play. Princeton, now 7-8 overall and 0-1 Ivy, hosts Columbia on January 12 and Cornell on January 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Mitch Henderson believed that his Princeton University men’s basketball team was in a good place as it faced Penn last Saturday in the Ivy League opener.

Heading into the clash with the Quakers, Princeton was coming off a superb western swing which saw it go 4-1, posting wins at Cal Poly and Southern Cal and then topping Akron and host Hawaii after falling to Middle Tennessee State at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. more

ANCHOR AWAY: Princeton University water polo head coach Luis Nicolao makes a point to his women players. Nicolao announced last week that he will be stepping down from his post to be the head coach of the water polo program at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy. Nicolao spent 20 years at Princeton as the head coach of both the men’s and women’s programs. During that time, Nicolao posted a combined 844-312 (.730) record, going 402-163 (.712) with the men and 442-149 (.748) with the women. He took the Princeton men’s and women’s water polo teams to the NCAA tournament a combined seven times. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Luis Nicolao, the hard lessons he learned as a student-athlete at the U.S. Naval Academy have served him well. more

January 3, 2018

FRESH APPROACH: Stuart County Day School basketball player Nia Melvin puts up a shot in recent action. Last Wednesday, freshman guard Melvin scored 12 points and had nine rebounds to help Stuart defeat Princeton High 40-18 in the opening round of the Stuart Invitational Tournament. A day later, Melvin contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds in a losing cause as the Tartans fell 46-42 to Trinity Hall in the semis to move to 6-2.  Stuart, which was slated to face Villa Walsh on December 29 in the third place game at the tourney, will start 2018 action by hosting Trenton Catholic Academy on January 3 before playing at Lawrenceville on January 5 and at Trinity Hall on January 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Nia Melvin has kept a cool head in assuming the starting point guard role for the Stuart County Day School basketball team this winter as a freshman.

“My role is to get the right people the ball at the right time,” said Melvin. “I try not to get too excited.” more

FINAL RUN: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball player Bridget Kane dribbles around a foe in recent action. Last Wednesday, senior guard Kane scored 26 points, including seven 3-pointers, in a losing cause as PDS fell 52-46 to St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes (Va.) in a consolation game at the Stuart Invitational Tournament. The Panthers, who dropped to 1-7 with the loss, were slated to face Princeton High in the tournament’s seventh place game on December 29. The Panthers will get into 2018 action by playing at the Hun School on January 4 and at Montgomery High on January 5 before hosting Pennington on January 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bridget Kane struggled to get into a shooting groove as the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball team faced St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes (Va.) in a consolation game at the Stuart Invitational Tournament last Wednesday.

The senior guard hit just one 3-pointer in the first quarter as the Panthers found themselves trailing 16-12. more

STONEWALL: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Taylor Stone works in the paint during a game last season. Last Wednesday, senior star and captain Stone scored a game-high 10 points in a losing cause as PHS fell 42-22 to Randolph in a consolation game in the Stuart Invitational Tournament. The Little Tigers, who dropped to 2-3 with the setback, will get the 2018 portion of their schedule underway when they host Hamilton on January 3 and then play at WW/P-North on January 5 and at Robbinsville on January 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Taylor Stone’s right index finger was swollen and taped but that didn’t stop her from carrying the load last Wednesday as the Princeton High girls’ basketball team faced Randolph in a consolation game in the Stuart Invitational Tournament.

With PHS lacking four players for the game due to other commitments, senior center and captain Stone knew that the squad was relying on her to come up big in the paint. more

ON POINT: Princeton University women’s basketball player Leslie Robinson guards a foe in recent action. Senior forward and team co-captain Robinson starred as the Tigers went 2-0 at the Gator Classic in late December. She earned All-Tournament honors, averaging 11 points and 7.5 rebounds a game as Princeton defeated St. Joseph’s 63-54 and then topped Tennessee-Chattanooga 59-49 to improve to 9-3. The Tigers, who were slated to host Maryland-Baltimore County on December 30, will start Ivy League play with a game at Penn on January 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton University women’s basketball team, competing at the Gator Classic tested its adaptability.

“It was a tale of two opponents,” said Princeton head coach Courtney Banghart, reflecting on the event which saw the Tigers face St. Joseph’s and Tennessee-Chattanooga in Gainesville, Fla. on December 20 and 21.

“So with St. Joe’s, three of their better players were in the post, outside of their leading scorer. Then with Chattanooga, their best players were the three guards. We were forced to play different ways and it was really awesome that we were able to adjust.”

The Tigers adjusted very well, defeating St. Joseph’s 63-54 and then topping Tennessee-Chattanooga 59-49 to improve to 9-3.

“It was two good mid major teams, a team we tried to schedule originally; they are a really dominant inside team,” said Banghart, reflecting on the win over the Hawks.

“Our defense was excellent, we switched at one through five.”

Defense made the difference for Princeton in the win over Chattanooga as the Tigers held the Mocs to 36.5 percent shooting and out rebounded them 44-24.

“They had beaten Northwestern, Indiana, Auburn, and Georgetown all this year and they have been to five straight NCAA tournaments; they are really good team,” said Banghart, in assessing Chattanooga.

“I told the kids this is the best team left on our schedule. It is not one guard but three guards that are equally dangerous. It is a team that adjusts quickly. One of our keys was that we are going to have to adjust throughout the game. It is not going to be one certain way to play. Our kids really stayed locked in, it was a great win for our program.”

Sophomore standout Bella Alarie and senior forward and co-captain Leslie Robinson led the way for the Tigers in Florida. Alarie was named the tournament MVP and an All-Tournament selection after averaging 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in the squad’s two victories while Robinson was also an All-Tournament choice, averaging 11 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.

“Bella is continuing to get better and better; she is really committed, she wants to be good here,” said Banghart of Alarie, who was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week.

“She is getting better around the rim, she is getting more relentless on the glass. She is a highly efficient player offensively. She blocks more shots than she gets credit for. Leslie is that competitor that when the going gets tough, she just gets tougher. In tough games she has shown that she is a difference. She was a difference in both games.”

While Banghart came into the winter believing that the Tigers would be competitive, their impressive start has exceeded her expectations.

“To be 9-3 with the schedule we have made, I honestly would not have guessed it,” said Banghart. “Our schedule bas been incredibly difficult. Our RPI was in the 20s before the Rutgers loss (70-50 on December 13) out of 350 programs. We are in the 30s now.”

Banghart likes the progress she is seeing at both ends of the court. “Defensively, we are getting really gritty,” said Banghart, whose team was holding opponents to 56.8 points a game and 38.4 percent shooting from the floor through its first 12 contests.

“Offensively, we have challenged post to be more of an interior presence. In the quarter court, we have asked our guards to be more relentless on the dribble attack. As we say, share it and shoot it. Both positional groups are raising their game and they are playing together pretty well too.”

With Princeton starting its Ivy League campaign at defending champion Penn on January 6, Banghart believes her squad has what it takes to regain the league crown.

“You have a pretty good sense by the end of December where you are and who you are,” noted Banghart, whose team was slated to play its last non-conference game when it hosted Maryland-Baltimore County on December 30.

“I really like this team. I think we have great versatility, we have great depth, we have a star (Alarie), we have a really good point guard (freshman Carlie Littlefield), and we have pieces that are continually evolving. It will be fun to see where this team goes.”

HAWAIIAN PUNCH: Princeton University men’s basketball player Devin Cannady puts up a free throw in a game earlier this season. Junior guard and tri-captain Cannady exploded for 26 points in the second half as the Tigers pulled away to a 77-63 win over Hawai’i on Christmas Day in a consolation contest at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. Cannady totaled a career-high 28 points in the game and was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week. Princeton, now 7-7, returns to action when it starts Ivy play with a game at Penn on January 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University men’s basketball team tied 31-31 at halftime against the University of Hawai’i in its third and final game at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Devin Cannady knew the Tigers had to step up the intensity.

“We went into halftime tied and I don’t think we played the best that we could have defensively,” said Cannady, as quoted on the Princeton sports website.  more

A-TRAIN: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Aidan Trainor controls the puck in a game earlier this season. Sophomore forward Trainor scored two goals to help PHS rally from a 3-0 deficit as it defeated Cranford 5-4 on December 22. The Little Tigers, who improved to 6-1-2 with the win, start the 2018 portion of their schedule when they face Steinert on January 3 and Notre Dame on January 5 at the Mercer County Skating Center and then play at Wayne Valley on January 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton High boys’ hockey team fell behind Cranford 3-0 in the first period of its final game in 2017, Aidan Trainor wasn’t fazed.

“That was kind of rough falling down early,” said PHS sophomore forward Trainor, reflecting on the December 22 contest played at Baker Rink. “We knew we had the offensive power to come back.” more

December 27, 2017

By Bill Alden

Princeton University recently announced its 10 All-Ivy Academic honorees for the 2017 fall campaign.

Those honored included: Richard Bush, a senior offensive lineman for the football team, who is majoring in Operations Research and Financial Engineering; sophomore cross country runner Viraj Deokar, who is majoring in Operations Research and Financial Engineering; Tom Johnson, a junior football linebacker and Economics major; Noah Kauppila, a senior cross country star studying economics; Jacob Schachner, a sophomore men’s soccer goalie majoring in Chemical & Biological Engineering; junior Gabi Forrest, the women’s Ivy League Heptagonal cross country champion who is studying Economics; Natalie Larkin, a star senior defender for the women’s soccer team studying at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs; Courtney O’Brien, a sophomore women’s soccer star who hasn’t declared a major; sophomore Maggie O’Connell, the women’s volleyball Ivy Player of the Year who is majoring in Chemical & Biological Engineering; and Elise Wong, a junior field hockey star studying at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs. more

LIVING LARGE: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Olivia Hompe, left, looks to unload the ball in game this spring. Senior star Hompe ended her career with a bang, setting the Princeton single-season record for points (with 110) and goals (with 75) as she helped the Tigers reach the NCAA quarterfinals. She graduated as program’s all-time leading scorer and goal-scorer with 285 points on 198 goals and 87 assists. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

A number of memorable and somewhat improbable title runs spiced up the pro sports world in 2017. Sloane Stephens shocked the world of women’s tennis when the unseeded and 83rd ranked American won the U.S. Open to earn her first major title. On the diamond, the Houston Astros outlasted the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers on the way to winning the first World Series title in franchise history, bringing joy to a city ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. In college football, the Clemson Tigers avenged a defeat to powerhouse Alabama in 2016 in the national final to win its first national title since the 1981 season. more

ANSWERING THE BELL: Princeton University men’s basketball player Amir Bell, left, goes up for a lay-up in a game earlier this season. Last week, senior guard Bell contributed 18 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds as Princeton defeated the University of Southern California 103-93 in overtime on December 19. The Tigers were slated to be competing in the Diamond Head Classic from December 22-25 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After the Princeton University men’s basketball team topped Monmouth 69-58 to snap a three-game losing streak, Mitch Henderson sensed that his squad may have turned a corner.

“We have been playing like crap and it is on me,” said Princeton head coach Henderson after the December 12 contest. “I thought tonight we looked like team.” more

DEVELOPING SITUATION: Princeton High girls’ ice hockey player Victoria Zammit brings the puck up the ice last week against the Pingry School at Baker Rink. Sophomore forward and assistant captain Zammit tallied three goals and an assist in a losing cause as PHS fell 11-6 to Pingry in the December 19 contest. The Little Tigers, who moved to 1-2 with an 11-4 loss at Summit last Wednesday, return to action when they play at Princeton Day School on January 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Victoria Zammit has hit the ice for her sophomore season with the Princeton High girls’ hockey team, she is showing a maturity as a player and a leader.

The forward has five goals and four assists through three games while shouldering extra responsibility as an assistant captain. more

YOUNG GUN: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player Freddie Young, left,  jumps around a defender in recent action. Last Sunday, freshman standout Young scored 22 points in a losing cause as PDS fell 76-59 to Friends Central (Pa.) in the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (Pa.) tournament. The Panthers, now 3-4, are next in action when they compete in the Prime Time Shootout at Trenton Catholic Academy from December 27 and 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team went 0-2 at the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (Pa.) tournament last week, Kerry Foderingham liked what he saw from his players.

“I was very excited and pleased with how we played, especially our last game,” said PDS head coach Foderingham, whose team fell 70-62 to the Solebury School (Pa.) last Friday and then lost 76-59 to Friends Central (Pa.) two days later. more

December 20, 2017

HARD DRIVING: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball player Maddie Coyne heads to the hoop in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior star Coyne played well in a losing cause, contributing 12 points and 10 rebounds as PDS fell 60-35 at Stuart Country Day. The Panthers, now 1-5, are next in action when they compete in the Stuart Invitational Tournament from December 26-29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the final 21 minutes of its game at Stuart Country Day School last Wednesday, the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball team outscored the host Tartans 35-34.

But having fallen behind 26-0 in the first 11 minutes of the contest, the solid finish by PDS kept things respectable as Stuart prevailed 60-35.  more

G-FORCE: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Gia Massari sends the puck up the ice in recent action. Last weekend at PDS’s annual Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational, sophomore defenseman Massari starred at both ends of the ice. On Friday, she tallied three goals and an assist as the Panthers topped Summit 6-2 in an opening round contest. A day later, she scored the lone goal for PDS as it fell 4-1 to Chatham-Madison in the championship game. The Panthers, now 2-5, host Princeton High on January 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team fell behind visiting Chatham-Madison 2-0 in the second period last Saturday in the championship game of the Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational, Gia Massari took matters into her own hands.

“When we were down, I was trying to carry the puck more to get us more opportunities to score,” said PDS sophomore defenseman Massari. more

By Bill Alden

Brendan Rougas toiled for the Princeton High junior varsity boy’s basketball squad last winter.

Last Friday, junior guard Rougas made his first varsity start as PHS hosted Lawrence High in its season opener, and he didn’t waste any time making an impact.

Rising to the occasion, Rougas drained a three-pointer to open the contest and added another bucket moments later, setting the tone as the Little Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back on the way to a 60-34 victory. more

PUTTING IN MYLES: Princeton University men’s basketball player Myles Stephens drives to the hoop in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star and tri-captain Stephens chipped in 16 points and four assists as Princeton defeated Cal Poly 80-60 in improving to 4-6.  Stephens, who had 19 points and eight rebounds in a 69-58 win over Monmouth on December 12, was later named the Ivy League Player of the Week. After playing at Southern Cal on December 19, the Tigers head across the Pacific Ocean to compete in the Diamond Head Classic from December 22-25 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Myles Stephens and his teammates on the Princeton University men’s basketball team, their 71-60 defeat at George Washington earlier this month proved to be a wake-up call. more

MAX EFFORT: Hun School boys’ basketball Max Gussen looks to unload the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Thursday, senior forward Gussen scored 14 points but it wasn’t enough as Hun lost 67-57 to the Perkiomen School (Pa.). The Raiders, who fell 69-58 to The Master’s School (N.Y.) on Saturday to drop to 2-7, are next in action when they host the Academy of New Church (Pa.) on January 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Max Gussen took a hit early on as the Hun School boys’ basketball team hosted the Perkiomen School (Pa.) last Thursday evening.

“I was a little off because I had the bloody nose in the beginning of the game so that took me off rhythm,” said senior forward Gussen. “Coming back I felt pretty good.” more

LOCKED IN: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey goalie Boris Gorelenkov prepares to stop a shot in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, Gorelenkov made 24 saves as PDS edged perennial powerhouse Delbarton 1-0. The Panthers, who defeated Rye Country Day (N.Y.) 7-0 last Thursday to improve to 6-3, are next in action when they host their annual Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational from December 29-30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Boris Gorelenkov realized that the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team faced a major challenge as it hosted perennial powerhouse Delbarton last Wednesday.

“We knew that they were a team that has won 95 percent of their games over the last 10-15 years,” said PDS senior goalie Gorelenkov. more