January 31, 2018

By Bill Alden

Dan Barberis and Jeshurun Reyen have formed a potent one-two punch in the sprinting events this winter for the Princeton High boys’ swimming team.

Last Saturday at the Mercer County Championships held in the WW/P-North pool, the pair worked side by side, literally, to help PHS take fifth in the team standings at the competition won by Notre Dame. more

TOP CAT: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Catherine Dyevich puts up a shot in recent action. Last week, junior star Dyevich scored 20 points in consecutive games as PHS defeated Hightstown 60-28 on January 23 and then beat Princeton Day School 57-32 last Friday. On Saturday, Dyevich contributed 12 points and 15 rebounds as the Little Tigers fell 55-48 to Stuart Country Day in a result under protest due to PHS head coach David Kosa’s contention that the Tartans used a player in more than the limit of five quarters between the junior varsity and varsity games. The Little Tigers are slated to play at Notre Dame on February 1 and at WW/P-South on February 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Having lost 26-24 to Hightstown in late December, the Princeton High girls’ basketball team was eager for the rematch when the foes met last week.

“We were very fired up, we really wanted revenge,” said PHS junior star Catherine Dyevich. more

ROCK STAR: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Becca Della Rocca displays her freestyle form in a meet earlier this season. Last Saturday, freshman star Della Rocca made a superb debut as she competed in her first Mercer County Swimming Championships. Della Rocca placed first in the 400-meter freestyle, second in the 100 butterfly and did the anchor leg for the victorious 400 free relay team to help PHS take third in the team standings. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Becca Della Rocca fed off the constant din of cheering, starting guns, and team chants filling the air at the WW/P-North pool last Saturday as she competed in her first Mercer County Swimming Championships. more

CELEBRATING HISTORY: Members of the Princeton High boys’ track team celebrate last Sunday after they placed first at the Mercer County Track Indoor Championships in the Lavino Field House at the Lawrenceville School. It was the first-ever indoor county crown for the program, which last earned the outdoor county title in 1982.

By Bill Alden

Even though the Princeton High boys’ track team appeared to have the pieces in place to win the Mercer County Track Indoor Championships last Sunday, Ben Samara knew nothing was guaranteed.

“We knew we were the favorites going in, but as I said to the guys on the bus, that doesn’t really matter because we were the favorites indoors and outdoors last year too,” said PHS boys’ head coach Samara, noting that PHS had never won the indoor county title and last earned the outdoor crown in 1982. “You have to get the job done and that is the bottom line.” more

January 24, 2018

LO AND BEHOLD: Hun School boys’ basketball player Lorenzo Spinazzi goes after the ball in a game earlier this season. Last week, senior Spinazzi tallied 12 points in a losing cause as Hun fell 77-62 to Lawrenceville on January 16. The Raiders, who moved to 2-12 with a 67-64 loss to St. Luke’s School (Conn.) last Saturday, play at the Peddie School on January 24, face Wayne Hills High at Mater Dei Prep in the Valerie Fund Challenge on January 27, and then host the Phelps School (Pa.) on January 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Lorenzo Spinazzi was determined to give his all for the Hun School boys’ basketball team as it found itself trailing Lawrenceville 24-16 heading into the second quarter last week.

The 6’4, 190-pound senior guard/forward was all over the court, diving for loose balls, going after rebounds, and driving to the hoop, ending up with seven points in the quarter as the Raiders pulled even 32-32 at halftime in the January 16 contest. more

JOYFUL NIGHT: Princeton High boys’ hockey Justin Joyce brings the puck up the ice in a recent game. Last Saturday evening, senior star and co-captain Joyce tallied a goal to help PHS defeat WW-P 9-2 at Baker Rink as the program held its annual Senior Night celebration. The Little Tigers, who defeated Hopewell Valley 8-2 last Monday to improve to 11-5-2, play at Bishop Eustace on January 24 and then face Robbinsville on January 26 at the Mercer Skating Center. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Justin Joyce grinned broadly as his family gathered with him on the ice at Baker Rink last Saturday evening when the Princeton High boys’ hockey team held its annual Senior Night celebration.

“It has been great, just looking back on everything I have done in high school hockey and just be able to recognize that,” said senior forward and co-captain Joyce. “My parents supported me the whole way.” more

MAD GOOD: Princeton High girls’ hockey player Maddie Samaan races up the ice in a game earlier this winter. Freshman forward Samaan tallied four goals and an assist to help PHS defeat Immaculate Heart Academy 9-4 last Thursday at Baker Rink. The Little Tigers, who improved to 4-3-3 with the win, play at the Academy of New Church (Pa.) on January 25 before hosting Chatham on January 26 and Summit on January 30 at Baker Rink. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Maddie Samaan, walking around the lobby of Baker Rink in 2014 provided her with special inspiration.

The walls at the rink feature a photo montage of Princeton University hockey standouts with Samaan’s mother, former Tiger women’s hockey star Mollie Marcoux Samaan, prominently displayed.

“When I first moved here, I saw her picture on the wall,” said Samaan, a freshman forward for the Princeton High girls’ hockey team who came to town when her mother became the Director of Athletics at Princeton in 2014. “I was like, I would someday like to get to half that level.” more

GIRL POWER: Princeton High freshman wrestler Chloe Ayres, top, takes control in a recent bout. Ayres, one of two girls on the PHS squad along with sophomore Jasmine Aizley, has emerged as a solid performer at 106 pounds for the Little Tigers. Ayres and her PHS teammates will be looking to step up as they compete in the Mercer County Tournament from January 26-27 at Robbinsville. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Chloe Ayres started running competitively in the third grade, but harbored a desire to take up a new athletic pursuit by the time she got to middle school.

With her father, Chris Ayres, having served as the head coach of the Princeton University wrestling team since 2006, Ayres had spent a lot of time around the sport and decided to get on the mat. more

FIGHTING ON: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Julie Patterson controls the puck in recent action. Last Friday, junior star and assistant captain Patterson scored a goal in a losing cause as PDS fell 9-2 to Morristown-Beard. The Panthers, now 5-8-1, play at the Hill School (Pa.) on January 24 and at Rye Country Day (N.Y.) on January 26. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Trailing Morristown-Beard 7-1 entering the third period last Friday, the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team could have gone through the motions over the last 15 minutes of the contest.

Instead, PDS produced a spirited display, skating hard and getting a goal from Ellie Schofield on the way to a 9-2 loss.

Panther head coach Lorna Cook was proud of the way her team fought to the final buzzer as it moved to 5-8-1. more

BEY AREA: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Bey-Shana Clark dribbles upcourt in recent action. Last Saturday, junior forward Clark tallied 14 points to help Stuart defeat Kent Place 52-33. The Tartans, who improved to 11-5 with a 57-44 win over Country Day School of the Sacred Heart (Pa.) last Monday, play at Pennington on January 24 and at Princeton High on January 27 before hosting Bound Brook High on January 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bey-Shana Clark displayed the growth in her game as the Stuart Country Day School basketball team hosted Kent Place last Saturday.

The junior forward employed some deft inside moves, hit mid-range jumpers, and drained six free throws on the way to a team-high 14 points as Stuart pulled away to a 52-33 win over the Dragons. more

January 17, 2018

By Bill Alden

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

January 10, 2018

ROAD WORK: Hun School boys’ hockey Guillaume Hebert heads up the ice in a game earlier this season. Senior forward Hebert has emerged as a scoring threat for Hun this winter. The Raiders, who fell 8-1 to Don Bosco last Wednesday at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y. after competing in the Purple Puck Tournament in the Washington, D.C. area from December 29-30, are back in New Jersey for a busy week. Hun, now 7-4-1, hosts Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) on January 10 and Seton Hall Prep on January 11 before playing at Lawrenceville on January 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last few weeks, the Hun School boys’ hockey team has been on quite an odyssey.

From December 28-30, Hun was based in the Washington D.C. area as it competed in the Purple Puck Tournament. The Raiders started 2018 by making a trip to Flushing, N.Y. last Wednesday where they faced Don Bosco at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, the site of the NHL’s Winter Classic two days earlier. more

ALL HANDS ON DECK: Members of the Hun School swimming team enjoy the moment after they defeated Hamilton West 99-71 last Saturday. The Raiders, now 1-1, swim at Blair Academy on January 10.

By Bill Alden

For Joan Nuse, the main focus in coaching the Hun School swimming program is more on development than the win-loss record.

“The main thing for all of our kids is just to watch them get better and work on improving,” said Hun head coach Nuse, whose coed team topped Hamilton West 99-71 last Saturday to improve 1-1. more

BIG BEN: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Ben Drezner goes after the puck in recent action. Last Wednesday, Drezner tallied three goals and an assist as PHS defeated Steinert 10-1 in its first game of 2018. The Little Tigers, who dropped to 7-2-2 with a 2-0 loss at Wayne Hills last Sunday, play Notre Dame on January 10 at the Mercer County Skating Center, South Brunswick on January 12 at Pro Skate, and Westfield on January 13 at the Union Sports Arena. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Even though Tim Chase was disappointed by the result as his Princeton High boys’ hockey team fell 2-0 to Wayne Hills last Sunday evening, he views the game as a valuable learning experience for his squad. more

STICK FIGHT: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Nic Petruolo, left, battles a foe in a game last season. Senior defenseman and Union-bound Petruolo chipped in an assist to help PDS defeat Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 3-0 last Wednesday. The Panthers, now 8-4, play at Hill School (Pa.) on January 10 before heading to New England to play at Portsmouth Abbey School (R.I.) on January 12 and at Worcester Academy (Mass.) on January 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Nic Petruolo relished the challenge as the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team hosted powerhouse Don Bosco in the championship game of the Harry Rulon-Miller Invitational.

“Coming into this game, they were rated as the best team in the state right now so as a player being a competitor, this is one of the games that you want to play your best,” said Petruolo. “All of our guys battled.” more

January 3, 2018

FRESH APPROACH: Stuart County Day School basketball player Nia Melvin puts up a shot in recent action. Last Wednesday, freshman guard Melvin scored 12 points and had nine rebounds to help Stuart defeat Princeton High 40-18 in the opening round of the Stuart Invitational Tournament. A day later, Melvin contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds in a losing cause as the Tartans fell 46-42 to Trinity Hall in the semis to move to 6-2.  Stuart, which was slated to face Villa Walsh on December 29 in the third place game at the tourney, will start 2018 action by hosting Trenton Catholic Academy on January 3 before playing at Lawrenceville on January 5 and at Trinity Hall on January 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Nia Melvin has kept a cool head in assuming the starting point guard role for the Stuart County Day School basketball team this winter as a freshman.

“My role is to get the right people the ball at the right time,” said Melvin. “I try not to get too excited.” more

FINAL RUN: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball player Bridget Kane dribbles around a foe in recent action. Last Wednesday, senior guard Kane scored 26 points, including seven 3-pointers, in a losing cause as PDS fell 52-46 to St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes (Va.) in a consolation game at the Stuart Invitational Tournament. The Panthers, who dropped to 1-7 with the loss, were slated to face Princeton High in the tournament’s seventh place game on December 29. The Panthers will get into 2018 action by playing at the Hun School on January 4 and at Montgomery High on January 5 before hosting Pennington on January 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bridget Kane struggled to get into a shooting groove as the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball team faced St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes (Va.) in a consolation game at the Stuart Invitational Tournament last Wednesday.

The senior guard hit just one 3-pointer in the first quarter as the Panthers found themselves trailing 16-12. more

STONEWALL: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Taylor Stone works in the paint during a game last season. Last Wednesday, senior star and captain Stone scored a game-high 10 points in a losing cause as PHS fell 42-22 to Randolph in a consolation game in the Stuart Invitational Tournament. The Little Tigers, who dropped to 2-3 with the setback, will get the 2018 portion of their schedule underway when they host Hamilton on January 3 and then play at WW/P-North on January 5 and at Robbinsville on January 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Taylor Stone’s right index finger was swollen and taped but that didn’t stop her from carrying the load last Wednesday as the Princeton High girls’ basketball team faced Randolph in a consolation game in the Stuart Invitational Tournament.

With PHS lacking four players for the game due to other commitments, senior center and captain Stone knew that the squad was relying on her to come up big in the paint. more

A-TRAIN: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Aidan Trainor controls the puck in a game earlier this season. Sophomore forward Trainor scored two goals to help PHS rally from a 3-0 deficit as it defeated Cranford 5-4 on December 22. The Little Tigers, who improved to 6-1-2 with the win, start the 2018 portion of their schedule when they face Steinert on January 3 and Notre Dame on January 5 at the Mercer County Skating Center and then play at Wayne Valley on January 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton High boys’ hockey team fell behind Cranford 3-0 in the first period of its final game in 2017, Aidan Trainor wasn’t fazed.

“That was kind of rough falling down early,” said PHS sophomore forward Trainor, reflecting on the December 22 contest played at Baker Rink. “We knew we had the offensive power to come back.” more

December 27, 2017

LIVING LARGE: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Olivia Hompe, left, looks to unload the ball in game this spring. Senior star Hompe ended her career with a bang, setting the Princeton single-season record for points (with 110) and goals (with 75) as she helped the Tigers reach the NCAA quarterfinals. She graduated as program’s all-time leading scorer and goal-scorer with 285 points on 198 goals and 87 assists. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

A number of memorable and somewhat improbable title runs spiced up the pro sports world in 2017. Sloane Stephens shocked the world of women’s tennis when the unseeded and 83rd ranked American won the U.S. Open to earn her first major title. On the diamond, the Houston Astros outlasted the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers on the way to winning the first World Series title in franchise history, bringing joy to a city ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. In college football, the Clemson Tigers avenged a defeat to powerhouse Alabama in 2016 in the national final to win its first national title since the 1981 season. more

DEVELOPING SITUATION: Princeton High girls’ ice hockey player Victoria Zammit brings the puck up the ice last week against the Pingry School at Baker Rink. Sophomore forward and assistant captain Zammit tallied three goals and an assist in a losing cause as PHS fell 11-6 to Pingry in the December 19 contest. The Little Tigers, who moved to 1-2 with an 11-4 loss at Summit last Wednesday, return to action when they play at Princeton Day School on January 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Victoria Zammit has hit the ice for her sophomore season with the Princeton High girls’ hockey team, she is showing a maturity as a player and a leader.

The forward has five goals and four assists through three games while shouldering extra responsibility as an assistant captain. more