January 17, 2018

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton High boys’ basketball team trailed Robbinsville 45-29 heading into the fourth quarter last week, Tommy Doran wasn’t about to give up.

PHS senior guard Doran scored nine points to help spark a late rally that saw the Little Tigers cut the deficit to nine points before they fell 60-47 in the January 9 contest. more

By Bill Alden

Facing rival Notre Dame last Wednesday evening at the Mercer County Skating Center, the Princeton High boys’ hockey team generated a number of scoring chances.

Although PHS outshot the Irish 22-8 through the first two periods, the Little Tigers were trailing 2-1 heading onto the third period.

PHS sophomore forward Stephen Avis acknowledged that the Little Tigers squandered that advantage.

“We were a little flat,” said Avis. “Even through we were outshooting them, we weren’t putting our opportunities into the goal.” more

CENTURY CLUB: Princeton University women’s hockey star Karlie Lund controls the puck in recent action. Last Saturday, junior star Lund picked up two assists in a 3-0 win over Yale, hitting the 100-point mark in her Princeton career. The Tigers, now 8-10-4 overall and 7-8-1 ECAC Hockey, are next in action when they play at Penn State on January 30 and face former head coach Jeff Kampersal. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

The Lund family from Minnesota made its annual sojourn to Baker Rink last weekend to cheer on its favorite player, Princeton University women’s hockey star Karlie Lund.

Wearing T-shirts made for the occasion and taping posters to the glass, the clan changed sections each period to be near the goal when junior forward Lund skated into the offensive zone.

Lund, for her part, drew extra inspiration from her special cheering section. more

ROSY OUTLOOK: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jerome Desrosiers shows his intensity on the defensive end in recent action. Last weekend, freshman forward Desrosiers starred off the bench, scoring 12 points in 12 minutes in a 72-56 win over Columbia on Friday and then chipping in 14 points in 16 minutes in a 91-54 rout of Cornell the next day. Desrosiers was later named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for his output. The Tigers, now 9-8 overall and 2-1 Ivy League, are next in action when they host Rowan on January 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jerome Desrosiers is exuding confidence as he heads into his first round of fall exams at Princeton University.

“I think I am actually ready,” said Desrosiers. “I just have to finish up one paper and start studying; nothing too crazy for me personally.”

On the basketball court, freshman Desrosiers is starting to become a force for the Tigers. Last weekend, Desrosiers starred off the bench, scoring 12 points in 12 minutes in a 72-56 win over Columbia on Friday and then chipping in 14 points in 16 minutes in a 91-54 rout of Cornell the next day. more

FIELD GENERAL: Princeton University women’s basketball player Carlie Littlefield heads upcourt in recent action. Last Saturday, freshman point guard Littlefield contributed eight points and four assists as Princeton pulled away to a 75-54 win over Cornell. The Tigers, now 13-3 overall and 3-0 Ivy League, are currently on exam break and return to action when they play at Yale on February 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Carlie Littlefield had a quiet first half for the Princeton University women’s basketball team as it hosted Cornell last Saturday.

Princeton freshman point guard Littlefield was held scoreless and had just one assist in nine minutes of action as Princeton clung to a 36-34 lead at halftime.

“We were kind of probing on the first half so that is what I was doing too,” said Littlefield, a 5’ 9 native of Waukee, Iowa. more

SHOOTING STAR: Hun School girls’ basketball player Jada Jones puts up a shot in recent action. Last Saturday, junior guard and team captain Jones scored 20 points to help Hun defeat Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 66-40. The Raiders, who improved to 4-6 with the win, play Immaculate Conception High at Felician University on January 18, host Sinai Christian Academy on January 20, and then play at Nottingham High on January 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jada Jones was looking to fit in with the Hun School girls’ basketball team last winter as she joined the program after transferring from Randolph High.

The sharp-shooting guard emerged as a go-to scorer, bonding quickly with her new teammates.

This season, junior Jones has moved up the pecking order, serving as the team’s sole captain. “Last year I was getting used to the team,” said Jones. “This year, it is me really trying to evolve as a player and learn my playing type.” more

SPEED RACER: Princeton High boys’ swimming star Daniel Barberis displays his freestyle form earlier ths season. Last Saturday, senior star and co-captain Barberis won both the 50 and 100 freestyle races to help PHS defeat Hopewell Valley 102-68. The Little Tigers, who improved to 7-3 with the victory, were slated to face WW/P-South on January 16 in their final regular season meet before taking part in the Mercer County Championships from January 25-27 at WW/P-North. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Daniel Barberis doesn’t like to linger in the water, but that hasn’t kept him from emerging as a star for the Princeton High boys’ swimming team.

Getting into the sport as a grade-schooler in Laramie, Wyoming, Barberis gravitated to the the shorter events.

“I was a sprinter right from the start, I tried long distance before but I just don’t have the build to stay swimming for a long time,” said Barberis, who joined the PHS swim team as a freshman after his family moved to the area. “I do more of the blasts out rather than spend a lot of time in the water.” more

FLYING HIGH: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player David “Diggy” Coit flies in for a lay-up in a game this season. Last Saturday, junior star and captain Coit tallied 27 points to help PDS defeat Doane Academy 74-71 in overtime. The Panthers, who improved to 5-7 with the win, host the Solebury School (Pa.) on January 18 and Allentown on January 20 before playing at Hamilton West on January 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the graduation of senior stars and 1,000-point scorers Chase Lewis and John McArthur last June, David “Diggy” Coit was primed to be the man this winter for the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team.

“This is what I wanted,” said Coit. “I wanted to be the leader, I wanted all eyes to be on me, so it is just about adjusting and making it happen.” more

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