January 15, 2020

BACK IN THE GAME: Princeton University women’s basketball player Abby Meyers drives to the basket during her freshman season in 2017-18. Meyers missed all of last season because of an academic violation and her return this season wasdelayed by a knee injury. Last Saturday, sophomore guard Meyers contributed 14 points off the bench as Princeton defeated Penn 75-55 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. The 25th-ranked Tigers, now 13-1 overall and 1-0 Ivy, are on exam break and return to action when they play at Dartmouth on January 31. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Abby Meyers isn’t back where she wants to be yet, but just being back at Princeton University and contributing again to the women’s basketball team is significant.

“It’s going to be a process,” said Meyers. “I’m not going to be the best I can be tomorrow or the week after. It’s a gradual process.”

The process took a big step forward last Saturday when the sophomore guard scored 14 points off the bench — 10 in the fourth quarter — to help the Tigers open Ivy League play with a 75-55 win at Penn. In a season-high 18 minutes, she shot 6-for-10, had four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and no turnovers.

“I haven’t reached my best yet,” said Meyers, a 6’0 native of Potomac, Md.

“I haven’t reached a good consistent feel when I play. That could be reading the defense, knowing what to do. I’m still getting there. In the Penn game, I had a role, and hopefully it’s going to grow as the coaches trust me more, the players trust me more.”

Meyers missed all of last season because of an academic violation, then her return to the court was delayed further after she reinjured a meniscus in her knee that had been partially torn a year ago while working out in her year away. more

FLYING HIGH: Princeton University men’s basketball player Jaelin Llewellyn flies to the hoop in a game earlier this season. Last Friday evening at Jadwin Gym, sophomore guard Llewellyn contributed 14 points and four rebounds to help Princeton defeat Penn 63-58 and complete a season sweep of the Quakers. The Tigers, now 6-8 overall and 2-0 Ivy League, are on exam break and will resume action when they host Division III foe Rutgers-Camden on January 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Mitch Henderson knows from hard experience that the heated rivalry between the Princeton University men’s basketball team and Penn involves a unique ferocity.

“I was a freshman at the Palestra and I got the taunting chant,” said Princeton head coach Henderson, a star guard for the Tigers in the late 1990s.

“I like playing Penn, we like playing Penn. They bring out the best in us and that is what rivals should be. I think that is the best thing about sports.”

Last Friday evening as Princeton hosted Penn at Jadwin Gym just six days after beating the Quakers 78-64 in the Ivy League opener for both teams, it was the visitors who brought it in the early going, jumping out to a 10-2 lead. more

TAKING HOLD: Princeton High wrestler Chloe Ayres, top, controls a foe in a match last year. Junior Ayres, who placed first at 105 pounds last winter in the first-ever NJSIAA girls’ championships, has emerged as a leader on the mat for the Tigers under new head coach Jess Monzo. PHS, which started 1-8 in dual match competition, has meets at Nottingham on January 15 and at Ewing on January 17 before hosting a quad meet on January 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Jess Monzo, coaching wrestling is a labor of love.

“There is always something that drives you and you want to give back and you want to do exactly what your coaches did for you,” said Monzo, who wrestled for Clifton High and Montclair State before getting into high school coaching with stints at Jefferson Township, David Brearley, Matawan, Freehold, and East Brunswick.

“You want to do that and more for the next crop of kids. Wrestling is in my blood, it is going to be in my blood until I can’t do it any more.”

This winter, Monzo, 39, has brought his passion for the sport to Princeton High where he has taken the helm of the wrestling program, succeeding longtime coach Rashone Johnson, now an assistant principal at the school. more

OH BROTHER: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Colm Trainor, right, goes after the puck last Monday as PHS defeated Jackson Memorial 5-3. Junior forward Trainor, the youngest of four Trainor brothers to play for the PHS program, had two assists in the win as the Tigers improved to 10-0-1. PHS faces Lakeland Regional on January 17 at the Ice Vault in Wayne and then plays Hunterdon Central on January 21 at the Flemington Ice Arena. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Colm Trainor is savoring his last chance to play with one of his brothers on the Princeton High boys’ hockey team.

The junior forward is the fourth Trainor to play for the program, having been preceded by older siblings Anthony ’17, Robby ’19, and current senior Aidan.

“I have always played with some sort of sibling, first Robby and now Aidan,” said Trainor. “Next year is going to be interesting, I am the last one.”

Last Wednesday against Nottingham, the Trainor connection resulted in a second period goal as PHS prevailed 5-0.

“Whenever Aidan is on the ice, we have the same playing style and we know where each other are going to be,” said Trainor. more

ON POINT: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player Dameon Samuels drives to the basket against Princeton High last Monday. Junior guard Samuels scored 13 points to help PDS pull away to a 57-43 win over PHS. The Panthers, now 7-4, hosts Hopewell Valley on January 16 before playing at Doane Academy on January 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In his first two seasons with the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team, Dameon Samuels took a backseat as David “Diggy” Coit ran the team’s offense.

But with Coit having graduated, junior point guard Samuels is now triggering the PDS attack.

“I learned a lot from Diggy, handling the ball and knowing when to get to the basket and knowing when to pass the ball,” said Samuels.

“Now as a junior, it is my turn to run the offense. I have to keep up my scrappiness like I have always been.” more

FINAL ACT: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Charlotte Haggerty, left, goes after the puck in a recent game. Senior Haggerty starred as PDS swept Holton Arms (Md.) last weekend, scoring a goal as the Panthers won 2-1 on Saturday and then adding a goal and an assist in a 5-1 victory on Sunday. PDS, now 6-3, hosts Morristown Beard on January 16, plays at Upland Country Day (Pa.) on January 17 and at Pingry on January 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Charlotte Haggerty has been giving new meaning this winter to the famous Shakespeare line from Hamlet, which proclaims “the play’s the thing.”

The Princeton Day School senior is excelling again on the stage in a school production and has made time to play for the Panther girls’ hockey team.

“I am in the musical so when I have rehearsals that always has to take priority over practice,” said Haggerty. “It is really tough balancing that. Yesterday I had rehearsal and then right after that I ran up to make hockey practice.”

In order to be sharp for the PDS hockey team, Haggerty doesn’t waste a moment on or off the ice.

“When I am here, I make the most of it,” said Haggerty. “I do a lot of off ice training, working on speed and stuff, just the details that nobody really sees.”

Last Saturday morning against visiting Holton Arms (Md.), Haggerty made the most of her time on the ice, tallying a goal as PDS pulled out a 2-1 win. more

STANDING TALL: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey goalie Tim Miller guards the crease in a game earlier this season. Last Thursday, sophomore goalie Miller made 24 saves to help PDS edge Delbarton 2-1. PDS, which fell 1-0 to the Portledge School (N.Y.) last Monday to move 4-7-1, hosts Don Bosco on January 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Trailing powerful Delbarton 1-0 heading into the third period last Thursday, the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team was due for some breaks to go its way.

“We needed to find a way to score and get a lucky bounce,” said PDS head coach Scott Bertoli, whose team had gone 0-5-1 in its last six games coming into Thursday with each of those games having been against boarding schools

“In seven straight games we have given up a goal on a shot where Timmy [Miller] is screened or it gets redirected. One of these days we have to score a goal like that for ourselves and put bodies in front of the net.”

After squandering a power play opportunity early in the third, PDS rebounded to get a goal from freshman Oliver Hall on an assist by sophomore Michael Sullo to tie the game at 1-1 with 3:17 left in regulation. more

IN CHARGE: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Catherine Martin dribbles the ball in recent action. Junior guard/forward Martin has emerged as a leader for the Tartans, getting named as a team captain earlier this season. Last week Martin tallied 16 points to help Stuart defeat Pennington 70-24. The Tartans, who topped Hopewell Valley 63-21 last Saturday to improve to 9-6, face Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) on January 18 in the Elite Prep Nationals Yes to Success and then play at Princeton Day School on January 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Catherine Martin earned a battlefield promotion earlier this season for the Stuart Country Day School basketball team.

“My coaches named me captain, I love supporting my team,” said junior guard/forward Martin.

“This year, I am a leader on the team, I want to help out my teammates as much as I can. It is nice to have the chance to step up.”

Martin stepped up last week, scoring 16 points to help Stuart cruise to a 70-24 win over Pennington, snapping a losing streak in the rivalry. more

January 8, 2020

CHOKED UP: Princeton University men’s basketball player Ryan Schwieger fights through a choke hold on the way to the basket in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday at the Palestra in Philadelphia, junior guard Schwieger poured in a career-high 27 points to help Princeton defeat Penn 78-64 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. The Tigers, now 5-8 overall and 1-0 Ivy, have a rematch with the Quakers on January 10 at Jadwin Gym. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Ryan Schwieger had scored his only previous two career points against Penn for the Princeton University men’s basketball team, hitting a pair of free throws two years ago.

One year after sitting on the bench through a pair of Princeton victories last winter over their archrival, the versatile junior guard exploded for a new career-high of 27 points to lead the Tigers to a 78-64 win over Penn last Saturday in the Ivy League opener for both teams at the Palestra in Philadelphia.

“He likes to remind me he did not play one minute last year,” said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson. “You can see that we’ve missed him.”

Schwieger made 10-of-16 field goals, including a 3-pointer just before halftime to forge a 39-27 lead in a game in which the Tigers never trailed. He hit on 6-of-7 free throws as well and added three rebounds to a 40-35 rebounding edge for Princeton. more

IN A RUSH: Princeton University women’s hockey player Maggie Connors races up the ice in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore forward Connors tallied three goals and an assist to help No. 7 Princeton defeat Saint Anselm 10-0. The Tigers, now 13-4 overall, resume ECAC Hockey action this weekend by playing at Dartmouth on January 10 and at Harvard on January 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University women’s hockey team hosted Saint Anselm last Saturday afternoon, Maggie Connors turned the contest into her personal showcase.

Princeton sophomore forward Connors assisted on a goal by classmate Sarah Fillier 2:03 into the game and then scored three straight goals for a natural hat trick as the Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the end of the first period.

With two of her goals coming on assists by Fillier,  Connors credited their partnership with sparking her outburst.

“Playing with a player like Sarah Fillier makes it pretty easy, it is just being in the right spots at the right time,” said Connors, reflecting on her third career hat trick. more

KEEN INSIGHT: Princeton University men’s hockey player Luke Keenan, right, battles a foe in recent action. Last Saturday, junior forward Keenan contributed a goal and an assist as Princeton skated to a 3-3 tie with Harvard. The Tigers, now 2-11-4 overall and 0-7-3 ECAC Hockey, play at Clarkson on January 10 and at St. Lawrence on January 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Luke Keenan realized that he needed to step up this winter in his junior season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team.

“I have been given more responsibility this year, a lot of other guys have too,” said forward Keenan. “We lost a lot of scoring from last year.”

Last Saturday evening against visiting Harvard, Keenan handled that responsibility well, tallying an assist and a goal as Princeton overcame a 2-0 first period deficit in skating to a 3-3 tie with the Crimson.

“We did come out a little flat tonight; I think we turned it around quickly,” said Keenan, reflecting on the tie which moved Princeton to 2-11-4 overall and 0-7-3 ECAC Hockey. more

BIG MAN: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Birch Gorman brings the puck up the ice in a game last season. Last Sunday, junior defenseman Gorman scored a goal to help PDS skate to a 3-3 tie with the Hoosac School (N.Y.) in the consolation game of its Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational. The Panthers, now 3-5-1, play at the Hill School (Pa.) on January 8 before hosting Delbarton on January 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having gone 0-3 at the Barber Tournament in New England to end December and then falling 8-0 to the Albany Academy (N.Y.) on Saturday to open its Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational, the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team went back to basics as it faced the Hoosac School (N.Y.) in a consolation contest.

“Today we just focused on the simple things, just getting pucks deep and getting pucks on net,” said PDS junior defenseman Birch Gorman, reflecting on the Sunday matchup.

After Hoosac jumped out to a 1-0 lead with 6:15 left in the first period, PDS got a puck in the back of the net less than four minutes later as senior David Sherman converted a feed from sophomore Michael Sullo for a power play goal. more

By Bill Alden

Brynne Hennessy has leapt up the ranks for the Princeton High girls’ basketball program this winter.

After having played for the junior varsity squad last year as a sophomore, Hennessy was not only promoted to the varsity this season, she is serving as a tri-captain for the team.

“I love playing on varsity; everyday, I look forward to going to practice,” said Hennessy.

“I love all of the girls, it is so much fun being captain with Molly [Brown] and Ashley [Tumpowski]. We are really starting to get into the groove of working as a team; that is what we really need to do.”

Last Friday evening against visiting Ewing, PHS found its groove early, jumping out to a 7-0 lead.

“Coming back from two losses, we really wanted to win today,” said Hennessy. “Being up 7-0 was awesome.” more

ABBIE ROAD: Hun School girls’ swimmer Abbie Danko shows her form in a meet last year. Senior star Danko is leading the way for Hun as it looks to build on the success it experienced last winter when it won the program’s first-ever team title at the Mercer County Championships. Hun, which defeated the George School (Pa.) 89-78 on December 10 in its first meet of the season, returns to action on January 8 with a meet at the Blair Academy. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Flying under the radar, the Hun School girls’ swimming squad pulled off a major surprise last winter as it won the program’s first-ever team title at the Mercer County Championships.

Reflecting on the 2019-20 campaign, Hun head coach Joan Nuse realizes it will be tough to match that success.

“It was awesome last year; it is going to be a challenge to live up to that,” said Nuse, noting that a talented group of six swimmers scored all the points for Hun at the county meet. “We will do the best we can.”

Starting the season by defeating George School (Pa.) 89-78 on December 10, Hun showed that it can still be formidable.  more

By Bill Alden

Although the Hun School boys’ swimming team opened the season by losing 88-76 to the George School (Pa.) last month, the program is maintaining its upward trend.

“It was a pretty close meet, they are continuing to improve,” said Hun head coach Joan Nuse reflecting on the December 10 competition.

“We have kids in the first meet of the year who were swimming times that were better than their time in the previous year. We have some freshmen who came in and made an impact right off the bat. That is great and really sets things up for the season.”

Nuse is looking for a great season from senior standout Josh Nguyen. “Josh came in the first meet and goes out and won both the 50 and the 100 free,” said Nuse.

“He bettered his time from his best time ever right off the bat and he is not a club swimmer. That is just him putting in the effort in practice. He is one of our captains and he has been doing a great job of helping out everyone. He is definitely a sprinter but he can do backstroke.” more

STEADY EDDIE: Hun School boys’ hockey player Eddie Evaldi heads up ice in a recent game. Last week, senior star Evaldi helped Hun reach the semifinals of the Purple Puck National Capital Hockey Tournament outside of Washington, D.C. Hun, now 3-5-1, hosts Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) on January 8 and Seton Hall Prep on January 10 at the Ice Land Skating Center. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Hun School boys’ hockey team, its trip to compete in the Purple Puck National Capital Hockey Tournament outside of Washington, D.C. has proven to be an annual highlight for the program.

Having won the Purple Puck competition in 2018, Hun was primed to defend its title as it headed down to D.C. in late December.

“That trip is always fun for us. People like it for different reasons,” said Hun head coach Ian McNally.

“If you are returning, you like it because you look forward to it. We have a lot of new guys this year so it was new again for them.”

While Hun failed to make it two straight crowns as it lost 5-3 to Loyola Academy (Ill.) in the semis on December 30, McNally believes his team will benefit from the experience. more

January 1, 2020

ON GUARD: Princeton University women’s basketball player Maggie Connolly guards a foe in recent action. Last Sunday, against visiting University of New Hampshire, sophomore guard Connolly got the second start of her career and came up big, scoring a career-high 17 points to help the Tigers rout the Wildcats 77-37. Princeton, now 12-1, is next in action when it plays at Penn on January 11 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With star point guard Carlie Littlefield sidelined for the Princeton University women’s basketball team as it hosted the University of New Hampshire last Sunday, Maggie Connolly got the second start of her career and was ready to shine.

“We miss Carlie always,” said sophomore guard Connolly. “I hope she will be back as soon as possible, but it was exciting to play and get the opportunity get out there with my teammates and make some plays.”

Connolly ended up making a lot of plays, scoring a career-high 17 points as Princeton routed UNH 77-37 before 989 at Jadwin Gym.

In reflecting on her big day, Connolly said she is feeling more of a comfort level on the court with her teammates. more

INSIDE STUFF: Princeton University men’s basketball player Richmond Aririguzoh goes up for a hoop in recent action. Last Sunday senior star Aririguzoh scored a game-high 23 points to help Princeton defeat Lehigh 71-62. The Tigers, now 4-8, play at Penn on January 4 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After suffering an 87-72 defeat to Hofstra in its last action before Christmas, the Princeton University men’s basketball team did some soul-searching over the holidays.

“We all just recognized that it was a really bad game,” said Princeton senior star Richmond Aririguzoh, reflecting on the loss to the Pride on December 19.

“We put up a bad performance for us and our fans.  We just came back to basics and competing and doing the little things right.”

Last Sunday against visiting Lehigh, Aririguzoh did a lot of things right, scoring 23 points to help Princeton defeat the Mountain Hawks 71-62 before a crowd of 1,927 at Jadwin Gym. more

GETTING IT DONE: Princeton University men’s hockey goalie Jeremie Forget tracks the puck last Saturday against Quinnipiac. Sophomore Forget made 33 saves in a losing cause as Princeton fell 3-1 to the Bobcats. The Tigers, who lost 4-3 to Quinnipiac on Sunday as they fell to 2-10-3 overall and 0-6-2 ECAC Hockey, host Dartmouth on January 3 and Harvard on January 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though Jeremie Forget had only seen 31 minutes of action at goalie in the first 11 games this season for the Princeton University men’s hockey team, he maintained an upbeat attitude.

“I have always tried to stay positive in practice,” said sophomore Forget. “I knew eventually I would get my chance and once I got it, I wanted to make sure I would seize it to make sure I would give myself more playing time.”

Forget started game 12 as Princeton hosted Colorado College on December 7 and seized opportunity, making 25 saves as the Tigers fell 2-1 in overtime. Three days later, Forget had 26 stops as Princeton edged AIC 2-1 to snap a 10-game winless streak. more

DOUBLE DUTY: Princeton High hockey player Victoria Zammit controls the puck in a game last season. Senior forward Zammit has been doing double duty this winter, playing for both the PHS boys’ and girls’ hockey teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was already a busy day for Victoria Zammit by the time she arrived at Baker Rink to play for the Princeton High girls’ hockey team when it hosted Summit in mid-December.

“I was in the boys’ game against Hopewell, this was a doubleheader,” said PHS senior forward Zammit, who is culminating her high school career by playing for both programs this winter.

“I was pretty tired; I downed a Red Bull in the car on the way here. The boys was a good warmup.” more

GRADE A: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Stephen Avis brings the puck up the ice in a game earlier this season. Senior defensemen Avis has provided strong work on the blue line as PHS has started 5-0-1. The Tigers begin the 2020 portion of their schedule by facing Steinert on January 3 at Mercer County Park. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having won its first five games this season, the Princeton High boys’ hockey team faced its first defeat as it trailed Notre Dame 3-2 in the waning seconds in its final game of 2019.

But with sophomore forward John O’Donnell finding the back of the net with eight seconds remaining in the third period of the December 20 contest, PHS pulled out a 3-3 tie to remain undefeated.

First-year Tiger head coach Joe Bensky sensed that his players were going to do whatever necessary to remain undefeated.

“They kept fighting and you could see in their eyes that their weren’t going to give up until the final buzzer went off,” said Bensky. more

TOPPING IT OFF: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball player Caroline Topping looks to pass the ball in a game last season. Junior guard Topping scored four points in a losing cause as PDS fell 26-15 to Willingboro on December 19 in their last game before the holiday break. The Panthers, now 1-6, start the 2020 portion of their schedule by hosting Steinert on January 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Looking to end 2019 on a high note, the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball team jumped out to a 9-3 second quarter lead over Willingboro in its last action before the holiday break.

“We definitely came in ready to play,” said PDS head coach Liz Loughlin.

“Once we felt a little settled I think we took our foot off the gas and allowed the other team to come back onto the game.”

Willingboro came back all the way, outscoring PDS 15-2 over the rest of the first half and the third quarter as it went on to earn a 26-15 win over the Panthers in the December 19 contest. more

December 25, 2019

JUMPING FOR JOY: Members of the Princeton University field hockey team celebrate after scoring a goal in the regular season game this fall. The Tigers went on to win the Ivy League title and later advanced to the NCAA championship game for the first time since 2012, where they fell to perennial power North Carolina. Princeton ended the fall with a 16-5 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Some surprising postseason runs made 2019 a year to remember on the national sports landscape. In pro hockey, the St. Louis Blues went from last place in December to earn their first-ever Stanley Cup in June. The Washington Nationals overcame their history of playoff futility to win the World Series for the first time in franchise history. The Toronto Raptors were a dark horse title contender in the NBA and proceeded to ride the clutch play of Kawhi Leonard to their initial league championship.

At the same time, some dominant teams added to their championship legacy. The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl to win their sixth NFL title and third in the last five years. The U.S. women’s soccer team won their second straight World Cup, continuing their dominance of the international game.

Over the course of 2019, Princeton University teams spiced up the year with some surprise runs of their own. The men’s volleyball team defeated Penn State 3-2 in the EIVA (Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) championship game, winning the program’s first EIVA crown since 1998. The Tigers went on to defeat Barton 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament to earn the program’s first win in the national tournament. At Hobey Baker rink, women’s hockey set a program with a 20-game unbeaten streak and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The wrestling team placed 15th at the NCAA championships, its highest finish in that competition since taking 14th in 1978. Producing a dramatic victory, men’s golf won the Ivy League Championships by one stroke, carding a total of 875 with Columbia next at 876 — its first league crown since 2013. The Tiger women’s tennis won its second straight Ivy title and then defeated Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA tournament to advance to the second round for the first time since 2014.

In the meantime, some of Princeton’s traditionally strong programs continued to excel. Women’s lacrosse won its sixth straight Ivy League regular season title and then went on to defeat Penn 13-8 in the Ivy postseason tournament championship game. The Tigers ended up advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals. The men’s track squad rolled to first place at the Outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championship, securing the program’s ninth triple crown (cross country, indoor, and outdoor Heps). After making to a pair of NCAA Final Fours in the previous three years, field hockey took one step further, advancing to the national championship game where it fell to perennial power North Carolina. Women’s basketball won its second straight Ivy crown; their seventh in the last 10 seasons.

On the high school scene, the Hun School girls swimming team pulled off a stunner, winning its first-ever title at the Mercer County Championships. The Princeton Day School baseball team had a sub-.500 record, but caught fire down the stretch to make it to the state Prep B final. The Princeton High girls’ basketball team advanced to the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional semifinals, its best postseason run since the 1980s. Seeded seventh in the Mercer County Tournament, the Stuart Country Day School field hockey team knocked off the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds on the way to making it to the final. Chloe Ayres made history for PHS wrestling, winning the NJSIAA Championships title at 105 pounds in the first-ever N.J. girls’ state competition. In the fall, the PHS girls’ tennis won the team title at the MCT for the first time since 2014.

Other area high school programs cemented their status as perennial champions. The Hun School boys’ hockey team won its sixth straight Mercer County Tournament title. In the spring, the Hun baseball team won its fourth straight state Prep A crown while the Raider boys’ lacrosse team won its second straight Prep A title. Over at PDS, the girls’ soccer team won its sixth straight state Prep B title with the boys’ lacrosse program earning its fourth straight MCT championship. Emerging as powerhouses, the Stuart hoops team earned its second straight Prep B crown and the Tartan track squad won the indoor and outdoor Prep B championship meets for a second year a row. Boasting a high-powered attack, the PHS girls’ lacrosse team won its second straight Central Jersey Group 4 sectional title.

 more

HURT PRIDE: Princeton University men’s basketball player Ryan Schwieger looks for an opening in recent action. Last Thursday against visiting Hofstra, junior forward Schwieger scored 16 points with six assists and five rebounds but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 87-72 to the Pride. The Tigers, now 3-8, are next in action when they host Lehigh on December 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bringing its first two-game winning streak of the year into its contest against visiting Hofstra last Thursday evening, the Princeton University men’s basketball team was hoping that it had turned a corner.

Defeating Fairleigh Dickinson 80-65 on December 14 in Hackensack, N.J., and then rallying for a wild 90-86 overtime win over Iona at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on December 17, Princeton was poised to win its first game at Jadwin Gym this season.

But a veteran, well-drilled Hofstra squad had other ideas as it jumped out to a 21-12 lead six minutes into the contest and never looked back on the way to an 87-72 win over the Tigers before a crowd of 1,196 at Jadwin. more

JACKED UP:  Princeton High boys’ basketball player Jack Suozzi dribbles the ball in a game last season. Last Friday, senior guard Suozzi scored 15 points in a losing cause at PHS fell 67-54 to Hightstown in the season opener for both teams. The Tigers return to action when they compete in a Holiday Tournament at Rumson-Fair Haven on December 27 and 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jack Suozzi had been struggling with his shot as the Princeton High boys’ basketball team went through the preseason.

But on opening night last Friday against visiting Hightstown, senior guard Suozzi found the range when it counted, hitting a three-pointer in the first quarter and tallying nine points in the half as PHS took a 28-27 lead at intermission.

“I haven’t been making my shots recently, but once I got warmed up I was feeling it a little more,” said Suozzi. “I try to help my team out in any way possible.”

The Tigers came out firing against the Rams, inspired by a raucous atmosphere in the gym. more