January 16, 2019

IN SYNC: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Erin Devine puts up a shot in a game earlier this season. Senior star Devine scored 17 points in a losing cause as PHS fell 40-37 to Hillsborough last Saturday. The Little Tigers, who moved to 8-3 with the setback, play at Allentown on January 18 and at Nottingham on January 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton High girls’ basketball team hosted Hightstown last week, it didn’t waste any time setting the tone.

Excelling at both ends of the court, PHS jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the January 8 contest.

“I don’t think we played our best on Saturday against New Egypt (a 32-13 win on January 5) so coming in we thought we were just going to put our best foot forward,” said PHS senior forward and team co-captain Erin Devine.

“We wanted to get going in the beginning to get momentum and keep going from there. We definitely wanted to get to the line more this game and we wanted to get layups.” more

TAKING HIS SHOT: Princeton High boys’ track thrower Paul Brennan gets ready to unload the shot put in competition last spring. Senior star Brennan has been enjoying a big winter season, recently hitting a mark of 54’11.5 in the shot, the top throw in the state so far this season. In upcoming action, PHS will be competing in the State Relays on January 19 and the county meet from January 25-26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It has been a rough ride for the Princeton High track program so far this winter.

The boys’ team has been hit with the injury bug, with such star performers as Nils Wildberg, Acasio Pinheiro, and Matt Perello currently sidelined.

While that has made the squad less formidable in the short term, it could have long range benefits.

“It has given a chance for our younger guys to step into the void and get some really good experience, which actually has been a silver lining,” said PHS head coach Ben Samara. more

CHIPPING AWAY: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Chip Hamlett controls the puck in recent action. Senior star defenseman and assistant captain Hamlett has been a stalwart as the Panthers have started 9-7-1. PDS, which topped Bishop Eustace 10-1 last Monday, hosts LaSalle College High (Pa.) on January 16 before playing at Holy Ghost Prep (Pa.) on January 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last month, the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team has been tested by a gauntlet of quality foes.

In mid-December, PDS headed up to New England for the Barber Invitational at St Mark’s School (Mass.), where the Panthers lost to Vermont Academy (Vt.) 2-1, defeated Worcester Academy (Mass.) 7-1, and tied Kents Hill (Me.) 1-1.

The team started 2019 by playing at Don Bosco (a 4-1 loss on January 2) and then hosted Albany Academy (a 6-1 loss on January 4) and Vermont Academy (a 2-1 win on January 5) in its annual Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational.

As PDS came into its Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) matchup against visiting Hill School (Pa.) last Wednesday, senior defenseman and assistant captain Chip Hamlett believed the squad was battle-tested. more

UP IN ARMS: Hun School girls’ basketball player Jada Jones puts up a shot in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, senior guard and team captain Jones scored 18 points in a losing cause as Hun fell 51-42 to visiting Mercersburg Academy (Pa.). Jones moved to 989 points in her high school career with her output against the Blue Storm. The Raiders, who dropped to 3-7 with the setback, play at Hightstown on January 16, host Freire Charter School (Pa.) on January 17, play at Hopewell Valley on January 19 and host Nottingham on January 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jada Jones knows that she has to be the offensive catalyst for the Hun School girls’ basketball team.

“If my shot is not falling, it is hard,” said Hun senior guard and two-time team captain Jones. “I try to make sure that everyone is involved. You feel better when you are scoring.”

Last Saturday again visiting Mercersburg Academy (Pa.), Hun fell behind 10-6 and Jones started hitting shots, tallying eight points in the second quarter as the Raiders found themselves down 23-18 at the half. Jones chipped in seven points in the third and hit a bucket early in the fourth to draw Hun to within 36-34. But the Blue Storm responded with an 11-1 run to pull away to 51-42 win.

“It has been a long week for us, we have been having games back to back,” said the 5’8 Jones, who ended up with 18 points in the game as the Raiders dropped to 3-7. more

By Bill Alden

It hasn’t been easy for Liam Gunnarsson to get on the court this winter in his first season with the Hun School boys’ basketball team.

The junior transfer guard, who previously played for Glen Ridge High, was sidelined for the first 10 games of the season due to back and rib problems.

As Gunnarsson prepared for his return to action, practicing with his new teammates helped get him up to speed.

“With how deep we are and how talented we are, I see a lot of improvement in myself,” said the 6’1 Gunnarsson. “I work every day in practice to be able to perform with the best of the best.” more

January 9, 2019

PODCAST: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Nathan Podgalsky heads up the ice in a game earlier this season. Last Monday, senior defenseman and assistant captain Podgalsky led a solid defensive effort and contributed two assists to help PHS defeat Robbinsville 6-1. The Little Tigers, who improved to 9-4-1 with the win, play St. John Vianney at Hobey Baker Rink on January 10 and then face Hopewell Valley on January 11 and Notre Dame on January 15, with both of those games to take place at the Mercer County Park rink. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As a senior defenseman and assistant captain for the Princeton High boys’ hockey team, Nathan Podgalsky knows he has to speak up this winter. 

“I am definitely a voice, you have to keep the boys motivated,” said Podgalsky. “You got to keep them in line.’

Last Monday, Podgalsky and PHS was motivated to stifle Robbinsville as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two periods and cruised to a 6-1 victory, improving to 9-4-1. more

GLOVE WORK: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey goalie Jillian Wexler gloves a save in action last season. On Sunday, sophomore standout Wexler starred in a losing cause, making 33 saves as PDS fell 2-0 to Chatham-Madison High in the championship game of its Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational. The Panthers, who moved to 3-7 with the loss, are slated to host Rye Country Day (N.Y.) on January 10 and Randolph High on January 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jillian Wexler enjoys keeping busy when she is on the ice for the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team.

Last Sunday as PDS hosted Chatham-Madison High at McGraw Rink in the championship game of its 29th annual Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational, sophomore star goalie Wexler was under the gun all afternoon. She ended up making 33 saves, starring in a losing cause as the Panthers fell 2-0. more

FIRING AWAY: Hun School boys’ hockey player Eddie Evaldi sends the puck up the ice in recent action. Last Wednesday, junior star Evaldi tallied three goals and two assists to help Hun defeat Princeton High 7-3 at Hobey Baker Rink. The Raiders, now 9-4, play at Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) on January 9 and at Seton Hall Prep on January 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Eddie Evaldi is developing into a force for the Hun School boys’ hockey team this winter.

Going from 5’3 as a freshman to 5’10 as a junior, Evaldi is a bigger, improved version of himself.

“I have grown a lot; that has really helped my confidence,” said Evaldi. “With that, my speed has also increased. I have been working a lot on my acceleration stuff and have really brought that to my game.” more

January 2, 2019

BIG TRAIN: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Aidan Trainor controls the puck in recent action. Junior forward Trainor came up big as PHS defeated Notre Dame 6-4 in its last action before the holiday break. Trainor tallied three goals and two assists in the December 21 contest as the Little Tigers improved to 7-3-1. In upcoming action, PHS will be playing Hun on January 2 at Baker Rink and then facing Steinert on January 4 and Robbinsville on January 5 with those games taking place at the Mercer County Park Rink. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton High boys’ hockey team, some defensive heroics helped trigger a scoring outburst as it battled Notre Dame in its last action before the holiday break.

With PHS trailing 2-1 late in the first period, it killed off successive 5-on-3 power plays for the Irish to keep the game tight and bring some momentum into the second period. more

ROCK AND ROLL: Becca Della Rocca displays her freestyle form in a race last winter. The addition of sophomore transfer Della Rocca, a former Princeton High standout, has helped the Hun girls’ swim team get off to a 2-0 start. The Raider swimmers return to action with a meet at the Blair Academy on January 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With its roster essentially doubling in size over the last few years, the Hun School swimming program is enjoying new competitive opportunities.

Having been limited to fielding one co-ed team in dual meets in recent years, Hun has been rolling out separate boys’ and girls’ squads this winter.

Raider head coach Joan Nuse sees the increase in numbers as a boon to the program.

 more

STICKING WITH IT: Princeton High girls’ hockey player Victoria Zammit heads up the ice in a game last season. Junior forward and assistant captain Zammit has been a bright spot for PHS as it has started 0-5. Zammit scored all three goals for the Little Tigers in a 9-3 loss at Rye Country Day (N.Y.) on December 20 in their last game before the holiday break. PHS resumes action when it plays at Princeton Day School on January 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Standing in a corner of Hobey Baker Rink after the Princeton High girls’ hockey team fell to Immaculate Heart in recent action, Victoria Zammit’s face was red and she was winded.

The PHS junior forward and assistant captain was all over the ice in the 12-1 loss on December 19, making a number of end-to-end forays up the ice.

“I definitely feel tired, even after the first period. It is a mental game for me to not get frustrated,” said Zammit. more

IN FORM: Stuart Country Day School basketball Bey-Shana Clark puts up a jump shot last week in Stuart’s holiday tourney. Senior star Clark contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds to help Stuart defeat Winslow 41-25 last Thursday in the semifinals of its fifth annual invitational tournament. The Tartans improved to 8-2 with the victory and were slated to face Trenton Catholic in the championship game on December 29. In upcoming action, Stuart will be heading to Florida to play Oxbridge Academy on January 2, Miami Country Day School on January 3, and St. Andrew’s on January 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bey-Shana Clark didn’t waste any time setting the tone as the Stuart Country Day School basketball team hosted Winslow last Thursday in the semifinals of its fifth annual invitational tournament.

The senior forward scored the first two buckets of the contest, helping Stuart jump out to an early 9-0 lead.

“Today we had to really bring it,” said Clark. “They are an aggressive team, they were active. I had to just focus and be zoned in.” more

December 26, 2018

TOUGH LOVE: Princeton University quarterback John Lovett heads upfield in a game this fall. Playing through a broken left wrist, senior star Lovett triggered the offense as Princeton went 10-0 overall and 7-0 Ivy League, the program’s first perfect campaign since 1964. Lovett was awarded the 2018 Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year after passing for 1,833 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushing for 894 yards and 13 touchdowns. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the course of 2018, the national sporting scene saw some breakthrough championships while other franchises solidified their status as perennial title contenders. In the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl, rewarding their long-suffering fans. On the ice, the Washington Capitals came through with their first-ever Stanley Cup, bringing a rare unity to the nation’s capital. Long past any curse, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, earning their fourth title in the last 14 years. Out west, the incomparable Golden State Warriors won their second straight NBA crown and third in the last four years.

On the local scene, the Princeton University men’s hockey team experienced a breakthrough of its own, capping an extended rebuilding process by winning the ECACH tournament for the first time since 2008. The Princeton women’s basketball team regained the Ivy crown, winning the league’s postseason tournament for the first time as it earned its sixth title in the last nine seasons. The Tiger men’s track team won its fourth consecutive indoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championship and 21st overall indoor title. more

DIGGING IN: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player David ”Diggy” Coit heads up court in recent action. Last Wednesday, senior guard Coit scored 23 points to help PDS defeat Pennington 61-50 and post its fourth straight victory. The Panthers, now 6-3, play in the Monroe High tournament on December 27 and 29.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team fell to George School earlier this month, it was time for some soul-searching.

“After that loss up at George, we rededicated ourselves to playing PDS ball,” said Panther first-year head coach Doug Davis, noting that the 53-51 setback on December 8 was his squad’s second defeat to George this season.

“It is sticking with and trusting our offensive and defensive schemes and having a little more buy-in from guys.” more

JACKED UP: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Jay Jackson puts up a shot in recent action. Last Thursday, junior forward Jackson scored 17 points to help PHS defeat Robbinsville 62-48. PHS, who improved to 1-2 with the victory, is next in action when it plays in the Kearny High tournament from December 27-28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having lost its first two games of the season by narrow margins, the Princeton High boys’ basketball team wasn’t about to take it easy after building a 31-15 halftime lead against visiting Robbinsville last Thursday evening.

“At halftime, we had a conversation saying that we need more energy, we need to play together,” said PHS junior forward Jay Jackson.

Scoring just two points in the first half, Jackson was determined to bring more energy after intermission. “I thought I had to pick it up a notch and put more effort into it,” said Jackson. more

December 19, 2018

DRAMATIC START: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Catherine Dyevich puts up a shot last Friday as PHS hosted Hopewell Valley in the season opener for both teams. Senior forward Dyevich came through in the clutch for the Little Tigers, hitting a three-pointer with 18 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and then draining another three-pointer at the buzzer in overtime to give PHS a dramatic 44-43 win. Last Monday, Dyevich tallied 16 points as the Little Tigers defeated South River 44-33 to improve to 2-0. PHS plays at East Brunswick on December 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Catherine Dyevich struggled offensively for the first 31 minutes of the game as the Princeton High girls’ basketball team hosted Hopewell Valley last Friday in the season opener.

PHS senior forward Dyevich had just four points as the contest headed in the final minute of regulation.

Finding her shooting touch at just the right time, Dyevich drained a three-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation to knot the game at 37-37 and force overtime. In the extra session, Dyevich came through again, lofting a three-pointer that swished through at the buzzer to give the Little Tigers a 44-43 win as she got mobbed by her teammates in the middle of the court.

Dyevich didn’t see her heroics coming since she was out of synch for most of the evening.

“I was off throughout the whole game, it was a very slow start,” said Dyevich. “It means a lot for me, I wasn’t expecting to bring it back. I had been trying to make it up on the defensive end and bring it there and get a lot of rebounds.”

With PHS trailing HoVal 37-34 in the last moments of regulation, Dyevich got the ball and knew she had to take a shot.

“At that point there were eight seconds left and I was wide open at the three,” said Dyevich. “I was thinking we are down by 3, I have got to shoot it.”

As overtime wound down, the Little Tigers found themselves in a 43-41 hole and instinct took over again for Dyevich.

“Even though it was less than a minute left, we still kept with it,” said Dyevich, who ended up with 10 points on the evening.

“I didn’t even realize how much time was left on the clock; Coach [Dave] Kosa yells from the bench, ‘look Cat.’ I got the ball and it was ‘I need to shoot this’ and I did. I didn’t think it was going in, and then I saw it. I had an inkling.”

As PHS hit the court for the opener, the team was shooting for a big night. “Going into it, we were so pumped, we were so ready to play,” said Dyevich, noting that this is her last season of basketball as she is headed to Cornell where she will compete for its women’s rowing program.

“Since we lost only one player, Taylor [Stone], I think we were ready to bring it. It is our senior season, the four captains. [Erin Devine, Anna and Olivia Intartaglia and Dyevich] and Ella [Kotsen] as well. We really wanted to bring it and win our home opener.”

In order to pull out the win, the Little Tigers had show resilience. “We just never gave up, that is something we are working on this year,” said Dyevich, who got 16 points as PHS topped South River 44-33 last Monday to improve to 2-0. “It is just staying confident and knowing what we are capable of and that we can do it if we believe in ourselves.”

PHS head coach Dave Kosa credited his team for maintaining its self belief.

“It was just a matter of us staying in it and making sure that we do the little things,” said Kosa.

“We had a couple of mistakes at the end. We put ourselves in a position where we are are up by two and all of a sudden they are up by two. We just had to respond and we just hit big shots.”

Kosa tipped his hat to Dyevich for making the big shots. “We have a couple of girls who can score that ball; today Catherine picked us up,” said Kosa, who got 12 points from Devine with Anna Intartaglia tallying six. 

“She had a big shot to tie it in regulation and then the big shot at the end. It wasn’t how we drew it up, but we are just trusting one another.”

In Kosa’s view, PHS made a statement with the win over HoVal. “If we compete, we can do great things,” said Kosa, whose plays at East Brunswick on December 22.

“We are getting better. I was happy that we were opening up against Hopewell because it shows us where we are at. It is a tribute to the girls’ hard work and commitment. Now we have that first one under our belts. We are trying to elevate ourselves to a certain level. This is a good stepping stone to do that.”

Dyevich also views the triumph as a sign that the Little Tigers can take things to a higher level this winter.

“Usually we start our seasons out with a slower team that we think we are capable of beating,” said Dyevich.

“This was a test, especially as our first game. We won both of our scrimmages but we didn’t know how those teams were. It was an awesome win, I am so happy.”

—Bill Alden

boy’s 200 IM

GOOD TENNANT: Princeton High boys’ swimmer Owen Tennant heads to victory on the 200 individual medley last Thursday against WW/P-South. Sophomore star Tennant also placed second in the 100 breaststroke in the meet as PHS fell 100-70 to the Pirates. The Little Tigers, who dropped to 3-1 with the loss, host Nottingham on December 20 in their last meet before the holiday break. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Owen Tennant and his teammates on the Princeton High boys’ swim team were fired up for their matchup against visiting WW/P-South last Thursday.

“We were excited but we knew that this was going to be difficult, knowing that South had some good swimmers,” said sophomore star Tennant. “We just wanted to get out there and do our best and have fun.” more

SHINING SEA: Hun School boys’ basketball player Andrew Seager heads to the hoop in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, post-graduate forward Seager scored 23 points to help Hun defeat Perkiomen School (Pa.) 53-37. The Raiders, who moved to 4-4 with the win, host Academy of New Church (Pa.) on December 19 before going on holiday break. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Andrew Seager enjoyed a superb career for the Ocean Township High boys’ basketball program, but he decided that spending a year at the Hun School for a postgraduate season would help him hone his skills for the college game. more

SHARPSHOOTER: Hun School girls’ basketball player Kennedy Jardine heads upcourt in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore guard Jardine scored 13 points, including four 3-pointers, in a losing cause as Hun fell 76-44 to Padua Academy (Del.). On Monday, Jardine scored 18 points to help Hun defeat Germantown Friends (Pa.) 49-35. The Raiders, now 3-4, were slated to play at George School (Pa.) on December 18 and then return to action by hosting the Blair Academy on January 9.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When Kennedy Jardine drained a 3-pointer to pull the Hun School girls’ basketball team into a 30-30 tie with visiting Padua Academy (Del.) early in the third quarter last Saturday, it looked like the contest was going to be a nail-biter.

But Padua responded with a 15-2 run to break the game open on the way to a 76-44 victory. more

TALKING IT OVER: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball first-year head coach Liz Sharlow and freshman guard Elle Anhut confer during a game earlier this season. Last Monday, Anhut scored five points in a losing cause as PDS got edged 23-20 by Willingboro. The Panthers, now 1-7, are next in action when they host Hightstown on January 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball team fell 23-20 to visiting Willingboro last Monday, Liz Sharlow viewed the effort as a step forward in her young squad’s development.

“I think as a whole we are definitely growing,” said first year head coach Sharlow, whose squad dropped to 1-7 with the loss.

“I don’t think at the beginning of the season we would have been in that game, so I am proud of them for fighting hard.” more

December 12, 2018

JAY TRAIN: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Jaylen Johnson heads to the hoop in a game last winter. PHS will he relying on senior forward Johnson to provide inside scoring this winter. The Little Tigers tip off their 2018-19 campaign by playing at Hopewell Valley on December 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming off a disappointing 4-21 campaign last winter, the Princeton High boys’ basketball team is hungry to get back on the winning track.

“Everyone has come in a little more focused; they are ready,” said PHS Head Coach Pat Noone.

“They want to get back to where we were two years ago (12-14 record) and not last year. It has been high energy. We have some returning guys playing well and the young guys are enjoying it.” more

ON POINT: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Shaylah Marciano gets ready to unload the ball in a game last season. Junior point guard Marciano figures to be a catalyst for the PHS offense this winter. The Little Tigers open their 2018-19 campaign by hosting Hopewell Valley on December 14.(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last winter, the Princeton High girls’ basketball team made big progress in its first campaign under the guidance of Dave Kosa.

PHS posted a 14-14 record in 2017-18, a marked improvement on the 6-20 mark posted in the previous season, and earned its first win in the state tournament since the mid-1990s when it defeated South Brunswick in the opening round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional. more

FAIR PLAY: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Laila Fair, middle, goes up for a shot last week against Hun. Sophomore transfer Fair contributed 10 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks as Stuart rolled to a 62-33 win the December 4 contest. The Tartans, now 2-1, host Princeton Day School on December 12 before playing in the Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) Tip-Off Tournament from December 14-15 and then hosting Montgomery on December 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Laila Fair struggled through a lost season in 2017-18 as a knee injury prevented her from taking the court in her freshman campaign with the Middlesex High girls’ basketball team.

Turning the page, Fair transferred to Stuart Country Day School and has found a home with its hoops program. more

LEADING THE WAY: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Julie Patterson controls the puck in game last year. Last Wednesday, senior forward and captain Patterson scored two goals to help PDS defeat Pingry 5-1. The Panthers, who fell 3-0 to Portledge School (N.Y.) last Monday to move to 2-2, head to Maryland this weekend to play the Holton-Arms School (Md.) on December 14 and 15 and Georgetown Visitation Prep (D.C.) on December 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having been a star for the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey since joining the program as a freshman in 2015, Julie Patterson relishes being a resource for her younger teammates.

“I like showing them what to do on and off the ice, being a good leader and helping them grow,” said senior star and team captain Patterson. more

FULL NELSON: Hun School boys’ hockey player Brian Nelson, right, battles for the puck in recent action. Senior forward and team captain Nelson has been triggering the offense this season for Hun as it has gotten off to a 3-2 start. In upcoming action, the Raiders were slated to host Lawrenceville on December 11 and Princeton Day School on December 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Brian Nelson soaked in some valuable lessons over his first three seasons with the Hun School boys’ hockey program.

Looking up to such stars and team leaders as Blake Brown, Tanner Preston, and Kyle Mandleur, Nelson was ready to follow in their footsteps when he was named captain for the 2018-19 season. more