December 26, 2018

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

December 5, 2018

ROCK SOLID: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Rocco Salvato, right, goes after the puck in recent action. Junior defenseman Salvato has starred at both ends of the ice as PHS has gotten off to a 3-0 start. In upcoming action, the Little Tigers are slated to play Lawrence High on December 5, WW/P-South on December 7, and Monroe on December 11, with all three contests taking place at the Mercer County Park rink. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As a freshman in the 2016-17 season, Rocco Salvato quickly established himself as a key scoring threat at forward for the Princeton High boys’ hockey team.

Last winter, Salvato got switched to defense late in the season to shore up that unit for the playoff push, starring as PHS advanced to the Mercer County Tournament title game and the state Public B semis. more

COOL HAND LUKE: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Luke Antonacci heads up the ice in recent action. Last Monday, sophomore forward Antonacci had two goals and three assists to help PDS defeat Morristown-Beard 13-2. The Panthers, now 2-1, play at the Portledge School (N.Y.) on December 5 and at Delbarton on December 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Luke Antonacci was determined to help the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team get off to a good start as it hosted Gloucester Catholic last Thursday, looking to bounce back from an opening day loss.

“We just wanted put pucks on the net, get shots in goal,” said Antonacci, reflecting on the team’s mindset in the wake of a 2-1 loss to St. Joe’s Prep two days earlier in the first game of the 2018-19 campaign. “Everyone was desperate to score.” more

By Bill Alden

Liz Sharlow first got the itch to coach while playing for the Lehigh University women’s basketball team from 2012-2016.

“We had a camp each summer, usually at the end of June, and that is when I really started enjoying coaching the younger girls,” said Sharlow, a four-year performer and a senior captain for the Mountain Hawks.

Her desire to get into coaching was reinforced when she stayed at Lehigh to earn a masters degree in school counseling and worked as a grad assistant for the school’s Varsity Strength and Conditioning team. more

By Bill Alden

Coming off a rough 4-19 campaign last winter, the Hun School boys’ basketball team is eager to turn the page as it heads into the 2018-19 season.

“We have got a lot of new faces,” said Hun head coach Jon Stone, noting that his roster includes five players new to the school, two new to varsity completely, and one who played on both JV and varsity last year.

“This year, the energy has been good and the atmosphere has been good. We are talking a lot about building a positive culture. With the new faces, we are going to have to build that chemistry pretty quickly here.”

Last weekend, Hun showed some positive signs, defeating the St. James School (Md.) 73-43 on Friday before getting edged by the Westtown School (Pa.) 50-43 a day later to move to 1-2. more

BACK IN TOWN: Doug Davis running the show during his career with the Princeton University men’s basketball team. Davis, a former Hun School standout and all-time Princeton great, is returning to the area this winter to take the helm of the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball program. The Panthers started their season by defeating Pennington 65-59 on Friday in the opening round of the Solebury (Pa.) Shootout before falling 67-59 to the George School (Pa.) in the title game a day later. PDS hosts the Shipley School (Pa.) on December 6 before playing at the George School (Pa.) on December 8. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Doug Davis stands out as a leading light on the Princeton basketball scene in the last decade

After a stellar career for the Hun School boys’ basketball team, where he scored more than 1,000 points and helped the Raiders to the state Prep A title in 2007, Davis went on to Princeton University and joined its men’s basketball program.

Over his four years with the Tigers, Davis scored 1,550 points, the second most in program history at the time of his graduation in 2012, and famously hit the buzzer beater against Harvard in the Ivy League playoff as a junior that sent the Tigers to the NCAA tournament.

Now Davis is returning to the local hoops scene, taking the helm of the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team.

As Davis works with his new players, he will be drawing on his Princeton experience.

“I don’t think you can go through Princeton and play at Princeton and not incorporate that style of basketball of offense and defense into the way you teach the game,” said Davis, who was the head coach at the Berkshire School (Mass.) the last two years.

A big part of that approach centers on daily work ethic. “The guys have been in the gym; it is establishing that basketball culture,” said Davis.

“It was such a part of my development as a player, getting in the gym. If you are taking basketball seriously and you are trying to play at the next level, then you are in the gym working out. Most of our guys were in there; training and trying to get ready as best they can for the varsity season. It is really good.”

Last weekend, the Panthers got off to a good start, defeating rival Pennington 65-59 on Friday in the opening round of the Solebury (Pa.) Shootout before falling 67-59 to the George School (Pa.) in the title game a day later.

Davis is looking for senior star guard David “Diggy” Coit to take things to a higher level this winter.

“He is small but he has a lot of game to him,” said Davis. “He is gong to be huge for our team. We are really relying on his leadership this year at guard to be able to put people in position, when to score, when not to score, when to pass, when not to pass and being the pulse of our team.”

A pair of sophomores, Dameon Samuels and Freddie Young Jr., also bring a lot of game to the table in the backcourt.

“We will be relying on those two as well to be leaders in their own right and step into that role,” said Davis, who will also be using junior Jomar Meekins at guard.

“They are no longer freshmen, they shouldn’t be making the same mistakes that they made last year. I am going to coach them hard because I feel like they are the future of the program.”

Junior Jaylin Champion will be hard to stop in a swing role for the Panthers.

“I have him bouncing back and forth between guard and forward,” added Davis. “As he moves into that next level, Jaylin is going to have to be able to handle the ball or at least prove he can handle it up top. He is so very explosive.”

In the frontcourt, Davis will be looking for junior transfer Lucas Green and senior Jimmy O’Connor to handle things in the paint.

“Lucas Green is going be very important for us,” said Davis. “He is very versatile, he can shoot, he can put the ball on the floor and he also has the ability to post, which is important. He is about 6’4; he can do a lot in the league as far as facing up. He can play good defense in the post, he is going to be good for us. We have Jimmy O’Connor who is going to be playing in the middle as well.”

Davis believes that the Panthers can win a lot of games this winter if they play an intelligent brand of basketball.

“We have to cut down on making some of those mental mistakes, even though we do have a relatively young team,” said Davis, whose team hosts the Shipley School (Pa.) on December 6 before playing at the George School on December 8.

“I feel in this day and age where three-pointer is so important that these guys are chucking those threes really quickly. It is knowing when to use the time and knowing when to get a bucket. Just being smart is going to be key for us and making shots, of course.”

November 28, 2018

GETTING A LEG UP: Princeton Day School boys’ soccer player Wesley Leggett flies up to boot the ball in game this fall. Senior striker and UConn-bound Leggett led the area with 22 goals, helping PDS advance to the state Prep B final as it went 8-7-3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski).

Charlotte Bednar was an unknown quantity as she toed the starting line for the Hun School cross country team at the Mercer County girls’ varsity meet in mid-October.

The petite blonde freshman had won some races in smaller prep meets for Hun but hadn’t competed against the runners from the county’s public school programs.

It didn’t take long for the runners from the bigger schools to notice Bednar as she shot to the front of the pack in the first half mile of the race at Washington Crossing Park. more

BLUE CHIPPER: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Chip Hamlett handles the puck last season. Senior defenseman Hamlett will be spearheading the PDS defensive unit this winter. The Panthers get their 2018-19 campaign underway this week by hosting St. Joe’s Prep on November 27, Gloucester Catholic on November 29, and Morristown-Beard on December 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team boasts some high-quality players, it is a little thin in numbers compared to past years.

“There is plenty of returning, experienced talent; I expect results, I expect us to play well and to do a lot of things we have done well over the years,” said PDS head coach Scott Bertoli, who guided the Panthers to a 17-8 record last year and a spot in the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) final. more

BIG MAC: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Ryan McCormick, left, goes after the puck in a game last season. Junior forward McCormick figures to be a key producer for PHS this winter. The Little Tigers begin their 2018-19 season this week with games against Hopewell Valley on November 27, Nottingham on November 28, and Robbinsville on November 30, with all three contests to be played at the Mercer County Park rink. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After making two straight runs to the state semifinals, the Princeton High boys’ hockey team is bringing high hopes into the winter.

“The team is excited; there are a lot of expectations,” said PHS head coach Tim Chase, who guided the Little Tigers to an 18-9-2 record and a spot in the Public B state semis last winter in his debut season at the helm of the program. “We are not going to fly under the radar.” more

FAST EDDIE: Hun School boys’ hockey player Ed Evaldi controls the puck in a game last winter. Junior defenseman Evaldi gives Hun skill and speed from the blue line. The Raiders open their 2018-19 season by hosting Bishop Eustace on November 28 and St. Joe’s (Metuchen) on November 30 before playing at Bergen Catholic on December 3. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Welcoming back a battle-tested squad, Ian McNally is feeling a comfort level with his Hun School boys’ hockey team as it prepares for the 2018-19 season.

“We are skilled and we have an older group than we have ever been,” said Hun head coach McNally, who led the Raiders to a 13-8-1 record last as the program won its fifth straight Mercer County Tournament title. more

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Hun School basketball player Jada Jones races upcourt in action last winter. Senior guard Jones provides production and leadership for Hun. The Raiders were schedule to start their 2018-19 campaign by hosting Germantown Friends (Pa.) on November 27 and Stuart Country Day on December 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last three seasons, the Villanova men’s basketball team has utilized deadly outside shooting and defensive intensity to help undersized Wildcat squads win two NCAA crowns.

As the Hun School girls’ basketball team heads into the 2018-19 season, Hun head coach Bill Holup views that formula as the blueprint of success for his program. more

IN CHARGE: Stuart Country Day School basketball player Nia Melvin heads to the hoop in a game last winter. Sophomore star Melvin will be counted on to the trigger the Stuart offense this winter. The Tartans were slated to tip off their 2018-19 season by hosting Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on November 27 and then competing in the Peddie School Invitational from November 30-December 1 and playing at Hun on December 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Understandably, there is a positive vibe around the Stuart Country Day School basketball team as it prepares to start the 2018-19 campaign.

Coming off a memorable winter which saw Stuart roll to its first state Prep B title and with most of its starters returning and the arrival of some talented newcomers, the Tartans are in a very good place. more

November 21, 2018

CARRYING THE LOAD: Princeton High football player Jaylen Johnson fights to gain yardage in a game this fall. Senior running back, defensive lineman Johnson starred on both sides of the ball for PHS as it went 2-7 this fall. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bringing an 18-game losing steak into the 2018 season, the Princeton High football team was hungry to taste victory this fall.

In game four, PHS broke through, edging Cherry Hill East 21-14 on September 29 to break the 21-game skid. Two weeks later, the Little Tigers enjoyed a second victory as they rallied to edge West Windsor-Plainsboro 22-19 on October 12. more

By Bill Alden

Jackson McCarthy and Tucker Zullo have formed a productive partnership for the Princeton High boys’ cross country team over the last few years.

Last Saturday at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park, the senior stars worked together to produce a fitting culmination to their state careers as McCarthy finished 24th in a time of 16:27 over the 5,000-meter course with Zullo right behind in 31st with a time of 16:30.

“We took turns going back and forth, back and forth,” said Zullo. “I really like to take it out strong the first mile and Jackson was just sitting on me the first mile. And then the second mile it was reversed and we just were able to feed off each other. It’s funny, we were talking to each other during the race and saying, ‘I’m here,’ or ‘I got you.’” more

KEEPING AT IT: Princeton High boys’ soccer player Atticus Lynch, right, goes after the ball in a game earlier this season. Senior midfielder Lynch was a stalwart for PHS this fall as it battled through injuries to go 8-6-3 and advance to the Mercer County Tournament quarterfinals. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Wayne Sutcliffe knew that his Princeton High boys’ soccer team didn’t have much margin for this error this fall as it looked to maintain its status as a local powerhouse.

“Coming into the season, we knew we had a very young team,” said PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe. “In order for things to go well, we were going to have to stay relatively injury-free.” more