January 30, 2019

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT: Hun School girls’ swimmer Marie-Eve Hebert heads to victory in the 200-meter freestyle at the Mercer County Championships last Saturday. Junior Hebert also prevailed in the 400 free, helping Hun to the team title, its first county crown in program history. The Raiders piled up 207 points in taking the championship, with WW/P-South coming in second at 175. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Standing in the starting blocks before swimming the anchor leg on the girls’ 400-meter freestyle relay last Saturday at the Mercer County Championships, Marie-Eve Hebert gave each of her arms a slap, readying herself for a big effort.

The Hun School junior transfer exploded into the water at the WW/P-North pool, churning out a blistering swim that helped the Raiders take second in the race.

That performance put the finishing touch on a remarkable day for the Hun girls as they earned the first county team title in program history. The Raiders piled up 207 points in taking the crown with WW/P-South coming in second at 175.  more

CO-STARRING: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Gefen Bar-Cohen heads to the hoop in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, Bar-Cohen tallied 17 points to to help PHS edge Princeton Day School 70-68. The Tigers, who fell 58-56 to Hamilton last Friday in moving to 8-7, play at Robbinsville on February 1 and then host Notre Dame on February 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Gefen Bar-Cohen served as a swing player for the Princeton High boys’ basketball program last winter as a sophomore.

He started the season on the junior varsity and was promoted to the varsity midway through the campaign.

Last Wednesday at Princeton Day School, Bar-Cohen helped swing a nip-and-tuck battle between the crosstown rivals in the favor of PHS, starring in the fourth quarter as the Tigers pulled out a 70-68 win.

Bar-Cohen made some key rebounds and hit four key free throws in the waning moments as the Tigers weathered the PDS surge.

“I have really been working on my free throws this year; I just knew that if I hit them the game was over,” said Bar-Cohen, who ended the evening with 17 points. “We have been in this position many times, so we just had to keep our composure and finish it out.” more

PASSING JUDGMENT: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Shaylah Marciano passes the ball in recent action. Last Wednesday, junior point guard Marciano scored 12 points with six assists and six steals to help PHS defeat Princeton Day School 61-17. Two days later, Marciano contributed six points and eight assists as the Tigers defeated Hamilton 41-20 and improved to 12-4. PHS plays at Notre Dame on February 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Shaylah Marciano stays busy athletically throughout the school year for Princeton High.

Marciano is a star goalie for the PHS girls’ soccer team in the fall, a point guard for the basketball team in the winter, and a playmaking midfield for the lacrosse squad in the spring who was among the state leaders in assists last spring.

As a result, junior Marciano has developed a game sense and ability to see plays develop before they happen.

Last Wednesday, her savvy was on display as the PHS girls’ hoops team headed across town to face Princeton Day School.

With Marciano triggering the offense, the Tigers jumped out to a 16-5 lead. more

TEN SPEED: Princeton High boys’ swimmer Owen Tennant competes in the 200-meter individual medley last Saturday in the Mercer County Championships at the WW/P-North pool. Sophomore Tennant placed sixth in both the 200 IM and in the 100 backstroke, helping PHS take fifth of 13 schools in the boys’ team standings. The Tiger girls, led by junior Cameron Davis, finished sixth in their team standings. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although Carly Misiewicz would have liked to see her Princeton High boys’ and girls’ swimming squads in the hunt for team titles at the Mercer County Championships last Saturday at WW/P-North, she believes the program laid the foundation for future success.

Featuring a number of talented freshman performers, the PHS girls took sixth in their meet, which was won by the Hun School.

“I think the girls did a great job overall; our freshmen this year really stepped up,” said PHS head coach Misiewicz, citing the efforts of newcomers Abby Walden, Katie DiVenti, and Tracey Liu. “They were really excited about this meet coming into it, they had a little bit of nerves but nerves are good.” more

LINING IT UP: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Caroline Haggerty goes after the puck in a game last winter. Last Friday, junior defenseman Haggerty scored a goal to help PDS edge Immaculate Heart 2-1. On Monday, Haggerty chipped in a goal and two assists as the Panthers topped Princeton High 6-1 to improve to 9-9. PDS hosts Chatham Madison on January 30 before getting into postseason play. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

In mid-January, the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team edged Immaculate Heart Academy 3-2.

When the foes met for a rematch last Friday at PDS, it appeared that Immaculate Heart might be turning the tables on the Panthers as it took 1-0 lead early in the second period.

PHS junior defenseman Caroline Haggerty acknowledged that she felt a little edgy about round two with the Blue Eagles. more

COLD WAR: Princeton Day School boys’ player Ty Eastman, right, battles a Lawrenceville School player for the puck last Thursday as the rivals met in Hobey Baker Rink. Senior forward Eastman scored two goals in a losing cause as PDS fell 5-4 to the Big Red. The Panthers, who moved to 11-9-1 with the setback, play at St. Augustine on January 30 before hosting Seton Hall Prep on January 31 and Chatham High on February 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

A raucous throng of fans flocked to Hobey Baker Rink last Wednesday as the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team faced Lawrenceville in the latest installment of their heated local rivalry.

Minutes into the contest, the blue-clad PDS supporters were stunned into an uneasy silence as Lawrenceville jumped out to an early lead, scoring three unanswered goals in the first 12 minutes of the contest.

While that certainly wasn’t the game plan for the Panthers, senior forward Ty Eastman was confident that PDS could dig out of that hole. more

January 23, 2019

By Bill Alden

Trailing Lawrence High 63-47 with four events left in a meet last Thursday, the Princeton High boys’ swimming team could have given up.

But by winning the 200 freestyle relay and then getting a victory from Jeshurun Reyen in the 100 breaststroke, PHS had a chance to win the meet if it placed one-two in the 400 free relay, the final event of the day.

While the Little Tigers ended up taking second in the relay to fall 92-78 to the visiting Cardinals at the John Witherspoon pool, PHS head coach Carly Misiewicz was proud that her swimmers kept fighting to the end. more

FREE FLOWING: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Cameron Davis displays her freestyle form in a race earlier this season. Last Thursday against visiting Lawrence High, junior star Davis prevailed in both the 100 and 200 freestyle races to help PHS win the meet 116-54. The Little Tigers are next in action when they compete at the Mercer County Championship meet at WW/P-North from January 24-26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Cameron Davis didn’t feel 100 percent as the Princeton High girls’ swimming team hosted Lawrence High last Thursday, but that didn’t keep her from producing a superb performance in the meet.

PHS junior star Davis posted wins in both the 100-yard and 200 freestyle races as the Little Tigers cruised to a 116-54 victory over the Cardinals.

“I am feeling a little sick today so the swims were not as good as they could have been,” said Davis. “I am not mad about it, I think they were pretty solid.” more

PINNING IT DOWN: Princeton High wrestler Chloe Ayres, top, takes control in a bout at 106 pounds against Nottingham High’s Stalin Arpi, which she won by a pin. Sophomore Ayres and the PHS wrestlers will be in action this weekend as they compete in the Mercer County Tournament at Robbinsville High on January 26.  (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton High wrestling team lost 11 of its first 13 dual matches, Rashone Johnson is still getting plenty of quality performances from his athletes.

“I have half of a lineup that has experience, with veterans ready to step up and try to have a breakthrough season,” said PHS head coach Johnson.

“Then I have the other half of my lineup that is brand new. They are young and they lack experience. I find victories in all of my matches.” more

COLE POWER: Hun School boys’ hockey goalie Jackson Cole tracks the puck in a game last winter. Last Wednesday, junior goalie Cole made 35 saves in a losing cause as Hun fell 3-1 to the Hill School (Pa.). The Raiders, now 9-7, play at the Portledge School (N.Y.) on January 23 and at Holy Ghost Prep (Pa.) on January 25 before hosting Notre Dame on January 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was a shaky start for Jackson Cole as the Hun School boys’ hockey team hosted the Hill School (Pa.) last Wednesday.

The Hun junior goalie yielded three goals in the first five minutes of the contest as the Raiders dug a 3-0 hole.

“When you go down so early like that, you just think to yourself it has already gotten this bad so you might as well play as hard as you can,” said Cole.

Playing hard, Cole got in a groove after withstanding the early barrage, repeatedly thwarting the high-powered Hill attack.

“I started to feel like I was back on my feet after the first couple goals,” said Cole. more

DRIVE THROUGH: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player David “Diggy” Coit dribbles past a Doane Academy player in action last Friday night. Senior star Coit scored 21 points in the game to help PDS pull away to a 75-58 victory and improve to 10-6. The Panthers host Princeton High on January 23, play at Germantown Academy (Pa.) on January 26, and then host Pennington on January 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

David “Diggy” Coit passed the 1,000-point mark in his Princeton Day School career last year as a junior and he has been averaging a team-high 20 points a game so far this winter.

But when the dynamic guard didn’t score a point the first quarter last Friday as PDS hosted Doane Academy, he kept his cool.

“We were just trying to see what they were throwing at us,” said Coit. “Our motto is ‘always take it calm’ because if I get frustrated in the first quarter, that is going to set the tone for my team. It is all about being a leader. They were in a box and one and they were trying to take me out of the game. So my team helped me, we just did what we do and we were aggressive.” more

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