April 1, 2020

ALL IN: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Ally Antonacci, left, goes after the puck in a game this winter. Sophomore forward Antonacci joined the program this season and helped PDS go 10-11 and advance to the championship game of the Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA) Miran Division playoffs. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team, its three match-ups against Rye Country Day School (N.Y.) proved to be a measuring stick of the squad’s progress this winter.

In two regular season meetings, PDS dropped a pair of 2-0 decisions. When the rivals met in the championship game of the Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA) Miran Division playoffs in mid-February, the Panthers battled valiantly before falling 2-1.

“I was really proud of the girls and how hard they worked,” said PDS head coach John Ritchie, who guided the Panthers to a 10-11 record in his first season at the helm of the program.

“It definitely shows the improvement from when we played them early in December to the middle of January to the end of the year. We had played Rye twice before and I thought we played them better each time.” more

EMPTY FEELING: The stands were empty around the turf field at Princeton High in late March. The PHS boys’ lacrosse team was slated to host Peddie on April 1 on the field, but that game has been canceled as the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) declared that no interscholastic athletic competition will take place for the time being as schools statewide are closed indefinitely pursuant to an Executive Order issued by Governor Phil Murphy on March 16 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

April Fools’ Day is traditionally a day for harmless practical jokes, pranks, and some laughs.

This April 1 figured to be a very busy, fun day on local playing fields.

The Hun School boys’ lacrosse team was slated to host Everest Academy (Canada), while the Raider baseball team had a home game against the Hill School (Pa.). Over at the Princeton Day School, the girls’ lax team was scheduled to host archival Pennington.

Things would have been hopping around the turf field at Princeton High as the boys’ lacrosse team was welcoming the Peddie School while the track teams were hosting a tri-meet against Hightstown and Notre Dame. more

March 25, 2020

VICTOR VICTORIA: Princeton High girls’ hockey player Victoria Zammit brings the puck up the ice in a game this past winter. Senior star Zammit ended her PHS career on a high note, scoring three goals as the Tigers defeated Holton Arms (Md.) 3-1 in a consolation contest of the Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA) Miran Division playoffs. Zammit tallied 45 points on 34 goals and 11 assists this winter as she earned First-Team All-Miran honors and was named team MVP. After going winless in 2018-19, PHS posted a final record of 4-14 this winter. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton High girls’ hockey team took its lumps this winter, it produced a game to remember in its finale.

Playing in the consolation contest of the Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA) Miran Division playoffs, PHS defeated Holton Arms (Md.) 3-1 on February 16 as senior star Victoria Zammit scored three goals and senior goalie Ella Chauder made 11 saves.

“It was a good game; Victoria wanted to go out on a high note, she wanted to get those goals,” said Tiger head coach Christian Herzog, whose team posted a final record of 4-14. “The girls were very excited.”

With PHS having gone winless in the 2018-19 season, Herzog was excited by the fighting spirit he saw from his players this winter. more

March 18, 2020

IN PLAY: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Brynne Hennessy looks to pass the ball in a game this winter. Playing in her first varsity campaign, junior guard and co-captain Hennessy emerged as a key offensive threat from the perimeter as PHS went 5-20. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With a roster including no seniors and few of the returning players having any varsity experience, Dave Kosa knew that his Princeton High girls’ basketball team would take its lumps this winter.

While PHS ended up posting a 5-20 record, Tiger head coach Kosa saw positives as his young squad picked up valuable experience.

“I was definitely encouraged by the progress that we made throughout the course of the season, even though it didn’t show up in the win/loss column,” said Kosa. “Some girls really got better.”

In the last week of the campaign, PHS displayed that improvement, playing three tight games and picking up its fifth win in the process.

“The reason why we played these three games was to get more experience,” said Kosa, whose team fell 37-26 to Northern Burlington on February 25, defeated Willingboro 31-27 two days later, and ended with season by losing 39-33 to Bordentown on February 28. more

March 11, 2020

GIRLS’ WEEKEND: Princeton High wrestler Chloe Ayres controls a foe in a match last season. Last Saturday, junior Ayres won the 107-pound weight class in the NJSIAA girls’ wrestling championships in Atlantic City to earn her second straight state crown. PHS freshman Ava Rose took second at 100 at the competition. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Chloe Ayres and Ava Rose gave the Princeton High  wrestling team a pair of aces in the finals of NJSIAA girls’ wrestling championships in Atlantic City last weekend.

Ayres, a junior, repeated as champion at 107 pounds in a close bout while Rose, a freshman, took second at 100 to a two-time champion Sydney Petzinger of Parsippany in her first trip to states Saturday.

“Anyone taking two girls or two boys to the state tournament and placing that high, it would be tremendous for any program,” said PHS head coach Jess Monzo.

“We’re just looking to grow our program and grow our numbers, so having two girls have success always helps. At the same time, having girls be successful like that kind of scares people because now, coming into a program, they’re not too sure about what their role would be.” more

BIG BEN: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Ben Moyer looks to pass the ball in recent action. Senior guard Moyer’s hard-nosed play helped PHS advance to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals and post a final record of 13-12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Winning eight of its last 10 regular season games, the Princeton High boys’ basketball team was primed for a big postseason run.

Hosting 10th-seeded Trenton in the opening round of the Mercer County Tournament on February 19, seventh-seeded PHS got off to a good start, racing past the Tornadoes 69-41.

“That was great, we hadn’t beat them in a very long time; we beat them twice this year and that is saying a lot,” said PHS head coach Pat Noone.

“It was a rough first quarter but the team really hung in there. We started hitting shots and we really defended well against them and stopped them in transition so that was really good. We hit a lot of shots that game, that was good to see. That was a big momentum builder for us.”

Unfortunately, the Tigers didn’t hit shots in the MCT quarters two days later, falling 46-29 at second-seeded Robbinsville. more

ON THE RISE: Hun School girls’ basketball player Nicole Angelini goes up for a lay-up in a game this winter. Senior guard Angelini provided a spark off the bench for Hun as it advanced to the state Prep A final and ended the winter with an 18-7 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It is an oft-stated sports adage that it is hard to beat the same opponent three times in one season and the Hun School girls’ basketball team was happy to provide evidence this winter to help support that proposition.

Having fallen to Lawrenceville 57-44 in a regular season meeting in late January and then losing 68-53 to the Big Red in the MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) semis on February 8, Hun turned the tables on its archrivals by defeating them 61-55 in the state Prep A semis on February 17.

In reflecting on the win in the rubber match, Hun head coach Bill Holup pointed to defensive versatility and a quick start as factors that made a difference for the Raiders.  more

March 4, 2020

SOUTHERN STATE: Princeton High boys’ hockey Cooper Zullo controls the puck in a game earlier this winter. Last Friday, freshman forward Zullo scored the lone goal as ninth-seeded PHS fell 4-1 at eighth-seeded Southern High in the first round of the Public B state tournament. The defeat left the Tigers with a final record of 18-4-2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having lost 6-1 to Southern High in a regular season meeting in early February, the Princeton High boys’ hockey team was determined to put the pressure on when the foes met for a rematch last Friday in the first round of the state Public B tournament.

“We were trying to screen the goalie more and take advantage of the opportunities that we got,” said PHS head coach Joe Bensky.

“We just really needed to finish more, that was evident the first time we played them.”

Having rallied from a 5-0 deficit a week earlier to defeat Hun 7-5 in the Mercer County Tournament final, ninth-seeded PHS wasn’t fazed when it fell behind eighth-seeded Southern 1-0. more

ON THE MOVE: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Aleah James races past a Trenton Catholic Academy defender last Friday evening in the Mercer County Tournament final at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton. Junior guard James scored a team-high 12 points in a losing cause as second-seeded Stuart fell 60-43 to top-seeded and defending champion TCA in the program’s first-ever appearance in the county title game. The defeat left the Tartans with a final record of 21-7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Stuart Country Day School basketball team, facing nationally-ranked Trenton Catholic Academy in the Mercer County Tournament final at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton was exactly where it wanted to end the season.

Heading out to Phoenix in December to play in the Nike Tournament of Champions and then going through a gauntlet of tough foes such as Blair, Immaculate Conception Lodi, Saddle River Day, Moorestown Friends, and Markham Prep (Can.), Stuart was ready for the challenge presented by TCA.

“We came in laser focused and set on showing everybody exactly who we are because sometimes I think people take the Stuart name for granted,” said Stuart junior guard Aleah James. more

KNIGHT MOVES: Hun School boys’ basketball player Dylan Knight drives to the hoops in a game this winter. Senior guard Knight helped Hun overcome a shaky 4-9 start to end the season at 12-14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Hun School boys’ basketball team started its 2019-20 campaign by losing nine of its first 13 games, its players could have given up on the season.

Instead, displaying resilience, Hun won eight of its next 13 contests, posting some memorable wins on the way to a 12-14 record.

“It was a pretty rough start for us overall; we struggled early,” said Hun head coach Jon Stone. “We were finding ourselves and having said that, I think we really made a lot of progress throughout the year. We grew and got better.”

Hun showed that growth in the last week of the season, bouncing back from a disappointing 53-46 loss to Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) in the opening round of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) tournament on February 7 to defeat rival Lawrenceville 62-45 in a MAPL consolation contest the next day and then topping a formidable West Nottingham (Md.) squad 56-45 in the regular season finale on February 13. more

February 26, 2020

ROCKING THE HOUSE: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Rocco Salvato follows through after firing the puck up the ice last Friday in the final of the Mercer County Tournament. Senior star Salvato tallied four goals and an assist as second-seeded PHS rallied from a 5-2 deficit with 3:57 left in the game at Mercer County Park to stun top-seeded and six-time defending champion Hun 7-5. The Tigers, now 18-3-2, are next in action when they compete in the state Public B tournament where they are seeded ninth and slated to play at eighth-seeded Southern in a first round contest on February 28 with the victor advancing to the quarterfinals on March 2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When it was over, Rocco Salvato had trouble finding the words to describe what he just experienced. The Princeton High boys’ hockey team produced a stunning rally to defeat Hun 7-5 in the final of the Mercer County Tournament last Friday evening.

Trailing six-time defending champion Hun 5-0 in the second period and 5-2 with 3:57 left in the third period, PHS scored four goals in the next 2:26 to take the lead and then added an empty net tally to put the finishing touch on a shocking 7-5 victory.

“The past three years getting here we just fell a little short so tonight is extra special,” said senior star Salvato, who scored three goals in the third period rally and ended the night with four goals and an assist. more

MAIN MAN: Princeton High wrestler James Romaine, left, battles a foe in a match last season. Over the weekend, junior Romaine placed first at 152 pounds in the District 17 tournament at South Plainfield. He advanced to the Region 5 tournament at Franklin High this weekend along with senior teammate Dominic Riendeau-Krause, who took second at 145 pounds. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

James Romaine had to change his attitude to become a top wrestler.

“I’d go in scared before,” said Romaine. “I’d wrestle scared, which is never good.”

Losing that fear has made a huge difference for the Princeton High junior as he has turned into a formidable competitor on the mat.

As part of that process, Romaine thought about why he had been wrestling since he started in first grade with the Princeton Wrestling Club, thought of all the fun he had and how much he enjoyed the sport and realized there was nothing to be scared of. He had to be confident. more

GETTING IT DONE: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player Ethan Garita passes the ball in a recent game. Last Sunday, junior forward Garita scored 18 points to help second-seeded PDS defeat top-seeded Doane Academy 64-50 in the state Prep B final. The Panthers ended with winter with a 14-11 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Losing 69-63 to Hightstown in the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals last Friday helped fuel the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team as it prepared to face Doane Academy in the state Prep B final two days later.

“After the game we used that intensity and that loss and brought it to this game,” said PDS junior forward Ethan Garita.

“We worked hard yesterday in practice, we just ran over all defensive drills. We were talking, having our hands up. It is a family, we worked hard for this.”

With second-seeded PDS playing at top-seeded Doane in a bandbox of a gym with the bleachers packed and people lining the baselines at both ends of the court, the Panthers quieted the home fans, outscoring the Spartans 15-7 in the third quarter to go up 44-33. more

ENDGAME: Hun School boys’ hockey player Eddie Evaldi speeds up the ice last Friday in the Mercer County Tournament championship game. Junior star Evaldi tallied a goal in the contest for top-seeded and six-time defending champion Hun but it wasn’t enough as second-seeded Princeton High overcame a 5-0 deficit to pull out a 7-5 win. The defeat left the Raiders with a final record of 9-14-2. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

History appeared to be repeating itself as the Hun School boys’ hockey team faced Princeton High in the Mercer County Tournament final last Friday evening.

Having won six straight county crowns with PHS as the runner-up the past three seasons, Hun built a 5-0 lead over the Tigers early in the second period in the contest at the Mercer County Park Skating Center.

With 4:00 left in the third period, Hun had a 5-2 advantage and its student section was chanting “warm up the bus, warm up the bus” at the PHS fans. more

THREE’S COMPANY: Senior guard Jasmine Hansford (front row, far right), celebrates with her teammates on the Stuart Country Day basketball team after the Tartans topped Academy of St. Elizabeth 65-33 in the state Prep B final last Wednesday to win their third straight state crown. On Friday, Hansford and the Tartans took a step toward another title as second-seeded Stuart topped seventh-seeded Hopewell Valley 51-23 in the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals. Stuart, now 20-6, faces third-seeded Notre Dame on February 26 in the MCT semis at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton with the victor advancing to the title game on February 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although Jasmine Hansford scored only two points as the Stuart Country Day basketball team topped Academy of St. Elizabeth 65-33 in the state Prep B title game last Wednesday, she helped set the tone for the Tartans.

“Defense is my main thing,” said Stuart senior guard Hansford. “I always guard the best players on the other team and make sure that they get the least amount of points possible. That is my main goal.”

Against second-seeded St. Elizabeth, top-seeded Stuart produced a stifling defensive effort on the way to building a 31-16 halftime lead and never looked back as it earned its third straight Prep B title.

“There was a lot of energy. We wanted to win; we wanted to get the third one,” said Hansford, who had four steals, two assists and a rebound in the title game. more

February 19, 2020

BAY WATCH: Princeton High boys’ swimmer Dan Baytin displays his freestyle form in recent action. The addition of freshman star Baytin to the team in January helped PHS go on a stirring run in the state Public B Central Jersey sectional. The third-seeded Tigers advanced to the sectional final where they fell 100-70 to top-seeded and undefeated WW/P-North last Friday to end the winter with a 12-2-1 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When the Princeton High boys’ swimming team suffered a one-sided 106-64 loss to WW/P-North in the season opener in December, it could have been a big hit to the squad’s confidence. more

MAKING HER POINT: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Ashley Tumpowsky heads upcourt in recent action. Last week, junior point guard and co-captain Tumpowsky scored 10 points in a losing cause as PHS fell 34-30 to Hamilton West in its regular season finale. The Tigers, who moved to 4-16 with the loss in the February 11 contest, start action in the Mercer County Tournament this week where they are seeded 14th and play at third-seeded Notre Dame in a first round contest on February 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the starting point guard for the Princeton High girls’ basketball team, Ashley Tumpowsky concentrates on setting up her teammates to get the offense going. more

CONTINUING TO ADVANCE: Princeton High girls’ fencer and team captain Eleanora Kreike-Martin shows her saber form. With a total of approximately 50 athletes competing for the boys’ and girls’ squads, the program is continuing to make progress.

By Bill Alden

Sam Blanchard got exposed to fencing through taking a PE course at the University of Oregon in the 1980s and he quickly became hooked on the sport. more

TOUGH BRAKE: Hun School boys’ hockey player Chris Brake, right, tangles with a foe in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior captain and forward Brake contributed an assist as top-seeded Hun defeated ninth-seeded Nottingham 6-1 in the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals and moved to 8-13-2. Hun, which has won six straight county crowns, was slated to play fourth seeded Robbinsville in the semis on February 18 with the victor advancing to the title game on February 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a busy day for Chris Brake and the Hun School boys’ hockey team last Wednesday.

In the afternoon, fourth-seeded Hun played at top-seeded Lawrenceville in the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) semifinals and battled valiantly in a 2-1 defeat. more

SHERMAN’S MARCH: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player David Sherman heads up the ice in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior star Sherman wrapped up his PDS career as the Panthers fell 3-1 to LaSalle College High (Pa.) in their season finale. PDS ended the winter with a 7-11-1 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

David Sherman was disappointed that the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team lost 3-1 to LaSalle College High (Pa.) last Wednesday to wrap up its season but that isn’t what will come to his mind when he looks back on his final high school game. more

LAYING DOWN THE LAW: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player Ethan Garita goes up for a shot in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, junior forward Garita scored 17 points to help second-seeded PDS defeat third-seeded Wardlaw-Hartridge 55-39 in the state Prep B semifinals. The Panthers, who improved to 12-10 with the win, will play at top-seeded Doane Academy in February 23 in the Prep B title game. In addition, PDS will be competing in the Mercer County Tournament where it is seeded eighth and hosts ninth-seeded Lawrence High in an opening round contest on February 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team, its 44-42 loss to Montgomery last week was a wake-up call as it girded for playing in the state Prep B semis on Friday. more

February 12, 2020

RAISING THE BAR: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Gefen Bar-Cohen goes up for a bucket last Friday as PHS played at Lawrence. Battling through a broken nose, senior forward Bar-Cohen scored a game-high 19 points to help the Tigers prevail 63-37. PHS, which improved to 10-10 with the win, hosts Phillipsburg on February 13 and then starts play in the Mercer County Tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gefen Bar-Cohen’s face was covered by a plastic mask to protect a broken nose as he took the court for the Princeton High boys’ basketball team at Lawrence last Friday evening.

In the early stages of the contest, senior forward Bar-Cohen looked like the injury may be hampering him as he missed several shots, going scoreless as PHS found itself trailing the Cardinals 8-6 at the end of the first quarter. more

FINAL RUN: Princeton High boys’ swimmer Jeshurun Reyen displays his form in a race earlier this winter. Last Wednesday, senior Reyen placed first in the 50 and 100-yard free to help third-seeded PHS post a 95-75 win over sixth-seeded Red Bank in the state Public B Central Jersey quarterfinals. On Monday, Reyen helped PHS edge second-seeded WW/P-South on power points in the sectional semis as the teams tied 85-85. PHS, now 13-1, will face top-seeded WW/P-North in the sectional final on February 14 at the Neptune Aquatic Center. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton High boys’ swim team hosted Red Bank Regional in the state Public B Central Jersey quarterfinals last Thursday at the John Witherspoon School pool, it marked the last home meet for senior star Jeshurun Reyen.

“It is really hard to believe, I have been swimming here for four years,” said Reyen. “It has been a great ride. It is lots of emotions, happy and sad.” more

SENIOR MOMENT: Hun School boys’ basketball player Jack Weiss, left, battles for the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, Weiss enjoyed a special Senior Night, scoring 11 points, including the game-winning three-pointer as Hun edged Princeton Day School 53-52. Over the weekend, Hun fell 53-46 to Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) in the opening round of the MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) tournament last Friday and then topped Lawrenceville 62-45 in a consolation game a day later. The Raiders, now 11-13, host West Nottingham Academy (Md.), on February 13 and then start action in the state Prep A tourney where they are seeded third and play at second-seeded Blair in a semifinal contest on February 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Jack Weiss went through his Senior Night for the Hun School boys’ basketball team last Wednesday evening, it prompted him to reflect on how far he has come in a journey across town after transferring from Princeton High. more

FIGHTING IRISH: Hun School girls’ basketball player Enya Maguire dribbles the ball upcourt in recent action. Last Saturday, post-graduate guard Maguire, a native of Belfast, Ireland, scored 14 points and had five assists as Hun fell 68-53 to Lawrenceville in the MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) semifinals. The Raiders, now 16-6, host Hightstown on February 13 and then have a rematch with Lawrenceville in the state Prep A semis on February 17 when third-seeded Hun plays at the second-seeded Big Red. (Photo by Rose Denommee, provided courtesy of the Hun School)

By Bill Alden

Enya Maguire brought a pass-first style with her from Belfast Ireland when she joined the Hun School girls’ basketball team this winter as a post-graduate point guard. more