November 17, 2021

Book lovers searched through thousands of titles in a broad range of categories at the Friends of the Princeton Public Library Book Sale, held last weekend in the library’s Community Room. Participants share their finds in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

As the state of New Jersey has reported increases in new COVID-19 infections and transmission rates, Princeton case numbers have remained steady at an average between one and one-and-a-half cases per day, according to the Princeton Health Department.

Princeton Deputy Administrator for Health and Community Services Jeff Grosser reported on Tuesday a “consistent stream of positive cases” without significant increases or decreases in numbers. The Health Department on Monday announced 12 new COVID-19 cases in Princeton in the previous seven days and 19 new cases in the previous 14 days.

“The Health Department has tracked recent cases linked back to Halloween social gatherings leading to subsequent household outbreaks,” Grosser said. “But due to Princeton’s high vaccination rate (82 percent of those 18 years and older, 100 percent of those 65 and older) the cases we’re seeing are predominantly previously vaccinated individuals with mild or no symptoms at all.”

On Tuesday the New Jersey Department of Health recorded a 31 percent increase from a week ago in the seven-day average for confirmed positive tests and an increase from 1.04 to 1.08 in the statewide rate of transmission, with any rate above one indicating that the virus is spreading.

During his COVID briefing on Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy suggested that the state will soon be expanding and simplifying booster eligibility rules, going beyond current federal guidelines to allow boosters for all residents 18 and older.  more

By Anne Levin

Two key members of Princeton’s municipal staff have been promoted to newly created positions. Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton is now deputy administrator for infrastructure and operations, and Health Officer Jeffrey Grosser’s new title is deputy administrator for health and community services, according to information released Tuesday.

Stockton will now oversee the Public Works and Engineering departments, as well as the municipal arborist and newly-hired open space manager. Grosser is now in charge of the recently combined Health and Human Services departments, as well as the Recreation Department. The promotions are the result of a year-long analysis of how the municipal staff is structured, begun in the Personnel Committee with previous Municipal Administrator Marc Dashield, and continued with Bernard Hvozdovic, who took over the post last spring.

“These promotions recognize Deanna Stockton and Jeff Grosser’s many years of outstanding leadership and dedicated service to the municipality,” Hvozdovic said in a press release. “They have earned the respect, trust, and confidence of their colleagues, the governing body, and the many residents who benefit daily from their commitment to Princeton. This restructuring will ensure that the municipality functions in a more efficient and cost-effective manner as well as being even more responsive to community needs and priorities.”

Hvozdovic is supervisor to Stockton and Grosser. He also directly oversees the Princeton Police Department, the Municipal Court, and the Clerk’s Office, as well as Emergency Services, Finance, Information Services, and Community Development, which includes Planning and Historic Preservation. more

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Cannabis Task Force (CTF) is planning to present a report and recommendations, based on more than seven months of research, discussion, and public meetings, to Princeton Council and the public at a November 30 special Council meeting.

According to CTF Chair Eve Niedergang, who is also a Council member, the presentation will include a recommendation for a maximum of three retail dispensaries in town, with five potential designated zones, along with specific suggestions on hours of operation, social equity criteria, historical background information, and commentary on concerns raised in public meetings.

In a November 12 telephone conversation, Niedergang discussed the work of the 23-member CTF. “The thoughtfulness with which this group of people has approached this issue has really impressed me,” she said. “There’s been a lot of debate and very frank discussion and definitely differences of opinion, but I think we’ve heard a diverse group of residents speak about an important issue, and despite the differences there’s been the theme of concern for making sure that

the product is accessible to people of different economic levels. The concern for using this as a tool to promote social equity and racial justice has been universal throughout, and that’s been great to see.”

Niedergang said that the CTF, which has met frequently over the past months, with four meetings, three during the month of September, devoted to public input, might be meeting less often, probably only once or twice each month after November 30.  She noted that priorities for the CTF going forward would include consideration of what to do with the potential 2 percent tax revenue from dispensaries, how to promote further education in the community about cannabis, and possibilities for other cannabis industries like manufacturing or testing in Princeton. It has been suggested, Niedergang said, that the majority of tax revenues from dispensaries go to address continuing social equity issues. more

ENVIRONMENTAL HEROINE: Shown here with her husband Peter, Rosemary Grant, senior research biologist emeritus at Princeton University, is among those included in the new “Women in Conservation” app from D&R Greenway Land Trust.

By Anne Levin

The newest free app from D&R Greenway Land Trust takes participants on a tour of the Cedar Ridge Preserve in Hopewell while highlighting the groundbreaking work of women in the conservation field. From locals Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck, known for telling the stories of African Americans in the Sourlands, to internationally known activists Greta Thunberg and Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the app encompasses a wide range of ages and experiences.

The hands-free audio tour is part of the TravelStorys series, described in a release from D&R Greenway as “the United States’ largest library of curated geo-located audio tours on a professionally maintained platform.” Previous entries include “Healing Trails on Princeton’s Greenway Meadows” and “Children and Nature” at the St. Michaels Farm Preserve in Hopewell.

The new tour began as a Girl Scout project for young Princeton resident Madeleine Freundlich, who had assisted D&R Greenway as an elementary school student with messaging for the land trust’s Children’s Discovery Trail on Drakes Corner Road. Madeleine won the Girl Scout Gold award for her efforts. Heather Callahan and Maria Stahl, from the Princeton AlumniCorps Project 55 program, have expanded and narrated the tour while serving as year-long fellows with the land trust.

“This was one of the first things I started working on this summer,” said Callahan, who graduated from Princeton University this year. “It’s been in progress for a while, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. It takes visitors on a trip, visiting women from all different parts of the world. It’s a diverse mix of women who have been impactful in preserving land for our generation and generations to come.” more

By Donald Gilpin

At its November 16 meeting, which took place after press time, the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE) was expected to authorize a special election to take place on January 25, 2022, presenting Princeton voters with a $17.5M “Facilities Stewardship Referendum for Urgent Capital Needs.” The bond issue would include repair and replacement of leaking roofs at all six district schools, along with addressing other overdue maintenance needs.

“We think it is important to proactively maintain our infrastructure in a fiscally prudent manner,” PPS Business Administrator and Board Secretary Matthew Bouldin wrote in an email on Monday. “Periodic capital facility referendums are a great way to do that. We have old and failing roofs and some other important infrastructure which has outlasted its useful life. We are asking the voters to approve this referendum to do this work.”

He continued, “Once we have new roofs, we will be able to move forward with installing solar panels, which will be a win-win for the taxpayers and, just as importantly, for the Earth.”

In his November 9 presentation to the BOE, Bouldin noted, “Princeton Public Schools capital infrastructure such as roofs, siding, and masonry have been neglected for a long time.  This situation unnecessarily stresses the operating budget, preventing the district from creating a modern 21st-century learning environment.” more

By Anne Levin

The 18-month term of the Princeton Community Renewable Energy Program (PCRE) will end next month. The energy aggregation project, which began in June 2020, was designed to provide a supply of electricity that was cheaper and had more renewable energy than power supplied by PSE&G.

The municipality had an 18-month contract with Constellation NewEnergy Inc., “which more than doubled Princeton’s renewable energy support by providing 50 percent renewable energy content, and saved residents a few dollars on their electricity bills,” reads a statement from Sustainable Princeton. The nonprofit hopes to work with the town again on a second iteration of the program when conditions for renewable electricity are favorable.

Residents do not have to take any action to switch back to PSE&G, and will soon receive a letter from PSE&G stating that their electricity supply will be automatically switched back to the utility starting with the December 2021 meter reading. There will be no changes in service.

There was no cost to the town to offer and maintain the PCRE program. Residents were offered the option to increase to 100 percent renewable electricity for a slight premium of about $4 a month. Molly Jones, executive director of Sustainable Princeton, said information will be available next month about how many people participated in the 100 percent option. In the meantime, several people have reached out to Sustainable Princeton expressing their support for another contract. more

PHS Students Collaborate on Play

The Princeton High School (PHS) fall play, Bethel Park Falls, which was recorded at PHS last week and will air on ShowShare by Broadway on Demand on Friday and Saturday, November 19 and 20, represents a collaboration of more than 150 actors, art students, and tech crew.

The theme of the play, which is about a community trying to save its beloved park, is reflected in the teamwork of students and their teachers in the process of creating this production over the past two months. The show was directed by drama teacher Julianna Krawiecki, along with art teacher Bridget Schmidt and technical director Jeff Van Velsor.

“For us, the message of Bethel Park Falls celebrates our togetherness, artistry, and the special magic of belonging to a group of like-minded individuals,” said Krawiecki. “Though we each used a different medium — wood, fabric, clay, sound, light, our bodies, and voices — our final goal was the same: to bring the story of Bethel Park Falls to the PHS community.”

Krawiecki discussed the challenges of creating theater during COVID-19. “For the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, our PHS artists, technicians, and actors lost their collaborative space, and everything about rehearsing and producing our work had to change as we worked remotely and reimagined our process,” she said. “At the end of the day, theater and art are about community, the shared experience and meaningful collaboration. While we are still facing many COVID-19 restrictions, we are overjoyed that we were able to restore much of this process for our students this fall.”

For the play’s setting in the park, art and tech crew students created 145 hexagons on stage, with 60 wood panels making up a tree, 50 ceramic tiles in the rolling hill, 21 painted fabric flowers, and 14 embroidered badges representing the joys to be experienced.

“Each hexagon represents one person from the PHS community who added something of themselves to make this production unique,” said Krawiecki. “They are a population of the school that is finally able to be in the same space, creating and sharing ourselves, our talents, our joy, our commonality.”

To purchase tickets and stream the show, visit broadwayondemand.com. more

By Stuart Mitchner

On Veterans Day 2021, I was thinking about my Uncle Bob, who was killed when his B-52 went down in a freak accident in February 1944. I was also dealing with the fact that both my uncle and my maternal grandfather were named for Robert E. Lee. On my uncle’s dog tag, which I keep close at hand, he’s identified as REL Patterson.

Although my paternal ancestors fought for the Union, a conspicuous exception is Gen. Jubal Early, called Lee’s “Bad Old Man” according to various biographers because of his “short temper, insubordination, and use of profanity.” A Potomac River ferry was named for him until June 2020 when it was renamed Historic White’s Ferry. As far as I know, there are still streets named for him in Texas, Florida, and in nine different towns in Virginia, including his birthplace Lynchburg, where there’s a Jubal Early memorial that was restored after being knocked down by “a wayward driver” in 2013.

 more

By Nancy Plum

Westminster Choir, the flagship choral ensemble of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, returned to live performance this past weekend. Led by conductor Lynnel Joy Jenkins, the 35-voice mixed chorus presented a program centered on “Returning to Joy” in Rider University’s Gill Memorial Chapel on Sunday afternoon. The program of a cappella and lightly accompanied choral works featured music both past and present and took the audience at Gill Chapel from “mourning” through “singing and new song” and “comfort” to “celebration,” capturing the myriad of feelings and atmospheres over the past 18 months. As Jenkins explained, this concert musically depicted “a tumultuous journey of returning to our beloved choral singing after a storm of life.”

Conductor and music educator Lynnel Joy Jenkins has built a successful career on cultivating community in the choral classroom while inspiring artistry. Her local connections range from a Westminster Choir College degree to conducting the Resident Choir of The American Boychoir School to her current position as artistic director of the Westrick Music Academy and conductor of the Princeton Girlchoir Ensemble and Concert Choir. From her worldwide choral clinical experiences, Jenkins has brought to choral programming a multicultural approach well evident in Sunday afternoon’s concert.

Jenkins opened the performance with three choral pieces of grief from three different time periods. The text of 16th-century composer Tomás Luis de Victoria’s “O Vos Omnes” was derived from the biblical book of Lamentations, and Westminster Choir sang Victoria’s a cappella Latin motet with clear harmonies and a well-focused sound. Westminster Choir has been renowned for a number of choral strengths, including solid blend, impeccable tuning, and the ability to produce an endless stream of choral sound, all of which were in evidence throughout this concert.  more

KELLI O’HARA: Stage and screen star Kelli O’Hara (above) performed November 13 at McCarter’s Matthews Theatre, marking her debut there. For the concert, which included a selection of show tunes and standards, the Tony Award winner was accompanied by a quartet of instrumentalists. (Photo courtesy of McCarter Theatre)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Stage and screen star Kelli O’Hara performed at McCarter’s Matthews Theatre this past Saturday night. The concert featured a selection of classic and contemporary show tunes, as well as a few stand-alone songs, that have had special significance for the Tony and Drama League Award winner.

Her stage credits include numerous musical theater roles on Broadway, as well as Metropolitan Opera performances in The Merry Widow and Cosi fan tutte. Screen credits include the web series The Accidental Wolf, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, and HBO’s upcoming The Gilded Age.

O’Hara made her McCarter debut with the November 13 concert. However, one of the musicians who accompanied her — percussionist Gene Lewin — is an alumnus of Princeton University and its Triangle Club.

Dan Lipton was the musical director and pianist. Guitarist Justin Goldner and bassist Alex Eckhardt completed the well-balanced quartet.  more

BEETHOVEN’S PREOCCUPATION: A scene from “33 Variations,” opening November 19 at Kelsey Theatre. The great composer’s obsession with one piece of music is considered one of the great riddles of classical music

Pierrot Productions will present 33 Variations November 19 through December 4 at Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre, located at 1200 Old Trenton Road in West Windsor Township.

Written by Moisés Kaufman, 33 Variations is inspired by one of classical music’s most enduring riddles: Why did Beethoven, during his final years, write 33 different variations of a seemingly insignificant waltz by a minor composer?

Kaufman’s play, which made its Broadway debut in 2009, toggles between contemporary times in New York and early 19th century Vienna. The story begins when modern-day music scholar, Katherine Brandt, is driven to explore the rationale behind Beethoven’s preoccupation with creating nearly three dozen variations of a humble waltz by a composer named Anton Diabelli. Beethoven’s obsession fuels Brandt’s obsession as their two worlds coexist on stage. Both characters face afflictions and are running out of time. Brandt suffers with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and a broken mother-daughter relationship, while Beethoven, entering the final years of his life, struggles with severe hearing loss.  more

Jazz vocalist and Princeton University faculty member Trineice Robinson will perform as part of Jazz Trenton’s Jazz Masters Series on Saturday, November 27, 3:30-7:30 p.m., at Candlelight Lounge, 24 Passaic Street, Trenton.

Joining her will be pianist Aaron Graves, bassist Lee Smith, and drummer Webb Thomas. The cover charge is $20 with a $10 drink minimum, dinner included. For information visit jazztrenton.com.

Robinson released All or Nothing, her debut album, last August via 4RM Productions. The album combines influences from jazz, R&B, gospel, and classical music with an all-star band featuring Don Braden, Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Davis, and Vince Ector.

With the release of the album, Robinson crosses off a major item on her bucket list, finally releasing her debut album at the age of 40. more

“NEW BEGINNINGS: A RE-EMERGENCE”: Art from 13 members of the Plainsboro Artists’ Group is on view at the Plainsboro Public Library Gallery through November 27. The exhibit includes drawing, painting, mixed media, assemblage, and sculpture.

An exhibition by members of the Plainsboro Artists’ Group is now on view in the Plainsboro Public Library Gallery. “New Beginnings: A Re-emergence,” which includes work in a variety of media, runs through November 27.

Exhibiting artists include Leena S. Bagawde, Mousumi Banerjee, Nikita Choksi, Terrance Cummings, Stephanie Ding, Sruthi Goswamy, Nelly Kouzmina, Art Lee, Sweety Mehta, Sandhya Modi, Anandi Ramanathan, Elaine Rosenberg, and Chanika Svetvilas.

The Plainsboro Public Library is the host of the Plainsboro Art Group made up of artists who meet on the first Tuesdays of every month at 6:30 p.m. (currently via Zoom) to connect and share their work, ideas, share resources, and seek advice from each other. The group has remained an
active and important part of Plainsboro and surrounding community with exhibitions and events that unite the community. The group welcomes all artists of varying levels and mediums to its meetings and events to foster a safe space for sharing.

“Our art covers many ranges,” said Paula Ridley, the Artists’ Group member who coordinated the show. “We have mixed media artists, sculptors, painters, muralists, potters, graphic designers, sketch artists, textile artists, sketchbook journalers, abstract artists, book artists, and more.”

The Plainsboro Public Library is located at 9 Van Doren Street in Plainsboro. For more information, visit plainsborolibrary.org, or call Sharon Mitchell at (609) 275-2897.

“YEAR OF THE LOCUST 2021”: This work by Jamie Greenfield is featured in “Double Vision,” her dual exhibition with Madelaine Shellaby, on view at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor through December 9. An opening reception and conversation with the artists will be held on November 17 at 7 p.m.

The Gallery at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) now presents “Double Vision,” featuring the works of Jamie Greenfield and Madelaine Shellaby. The exhibition runs through December 9 with an opening reception and “Conversation with the Artists” Q&A session on November 17 at 7 p.m. at the West Windsor Campus Gallery. Gallery Director Alice K. Thompson is curator for the exhibition.

“Double Vision” is a collaborative project between artists Greenfield of Lawrenceville and Shellaby of Washington Crossing, Pa.

The two artists discovered they had both been working in a stream of consciousness way. As Greenfield described, “We are looking inward to memory, and outward to the immediate environment for subject matter. The resulting drawings and digital montages reflect a common vision of fields of energy and awareness: what may be seen, felt, and known.”  more

“TULIPS AND FOXGLOVE”: This painting by Doris Ettlinger is part of the Garden State Watercolor Society’s Pop-Up Art Sale, coming to 19 Hulfish Street for three consecutive weekends starting November 18.

Garden State Watercolor Society (GSWS) returns to Princeton after a three-year hiatus for their Pop-Up Art Sale at 19 Hulfish Street in Palmer Square. Over 40 individual artists will re-emerge from the pandemic’s creative hibernation. On display will be a large assortment of original artwork in various media to satisfy anyone’s taste or style. 

The sale will run for three consecutive weekends beginning Thursday, November 18. and continue on a Thursday-to-Sunday schedule ending on December 5. The Pop-Up Art Sale hours are Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving. An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 19 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

As a way of giving back to the community, GSWS will donate 20 percent of the art sale proceeds to Mercer Street Friends and Send Hunger Packing. Mercer Street Friends is a local nonprofit whose mission is to build alliances and provide integrated services for children, and their families. The Send Hunger Packing program provides supplemental meals on the weekend for children K-sixth grade so that they are ready to learn on Monday.

For more information, visit the GSWS website at gswcs.org/art-sale.html.

“PEONY”: This oil painting by Constance Bassett of Moorland Studios is part of this year’s Covered Bridge Artisans Studio Tour, to be held November 26, 27, and 28. Visit  coveredbridgeartisans.com for a map and more information.

Held this year on November 26, 27, and 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, the Covered Bridge Artisans Studio Tour is a self-guided tour located in the Delaware River Valley of lower Hunterdon and Bucks counties. The 27th studio tour will take place in seven professional artists’ studios in the Lambertville, Stockton, New Hope, and Sergeantsville areas with 14 additional artists at the Sergeantsville Firehouse Events Center. 

Visitors to the tour can experience active studios as well as the gathering of many professional artists at the event center. This provides a wonderful opportunity to visit the studio, buy finished work, see work in progress, and talk with the artist. This year the tour features a variety of artisans working in glass, jewelry, ceramics, cast bronze, painting, weaving, bookbinding, woodworking, quilting, and more.

This year the Covered Bridge Artisans is teaming up with Fisherman’s Mark, a nonprofit social services organization in Lambertville that has been on the front lines of the Hurricane Ida relief effort. The devastation caused by the hurricane has left many residents housing insecure. Fisherman’s Mark is assisting those in need through their Hurricane Ida Relief Grant. Covered Bridge Artisans is giving its loyal customers the opportunity to make a donation to Fisherman’s Mark at the 2021 tour. 

For more information, and a map connected to GPS links, visit www.coveredbridgeartisans.com.

DELIGHTFUL AND DELICIOUS: “We love being in Princeton. It’s been a great choice, and we love the location on Witherspoon Street. Everyone has been so welcoming and glad to see us. People have actually thanked us for being here, Some of our customers are even coming in every other day.” Lynne Weshner, owner of Delizioso Bakery + Kitchen, is delighted with the warm welcome she and the new cafe have received, and she looks forward to meeting many more customers.

By Jean Stratton

Eating out has never been more fun in Princeton. Choices are everywhere. Opportunities to please the palate and tempt the tastebuds are offered by restaurants, eateries, and cafes all over town.

One of the newest and most popular is Delizioso Bakery + Kitchen, located at 205 Witherspoon Street. Opened in June, it already has a loyal and growing following. These customers don’t miss a chance to stop in for a quick bite or lengthier visit.

Offering indoor and outdoor dining, takeout, and catering, it specializes in an inviting combination of breakfast and lunch choices, including pizza, and a tempting assortment of baked items. Both savory and sweet treats are on hand to please every taste.

“Everything is prepared and cooked on the premises,” says owner Lynne Weshner. “We serve a little of everything, and it is all made to order with the freshest ingredients. We offer healthy, basic food, but take it up a notch with our special recipes and presentation.” more

G-FORCE: Princeton University women’s soccer player Tatum Gee, right, controls the ball last Friday night as the Tigers hosted Vermont in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Senior Gee scored both goals in the contest as Princeton prevailed 2-0. The Tigers, now 15-2-1, will face eighth-seeded TCU (18-2-2) at Rutgers on November 19 in a second round contest. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Tatum Gee is trying to extend her time with the Princeton University women’s soccer team as long as possible.

The senior captain scored the only two goals in the Tigers women’s soccer team’s 2-0 win over Vermont in an NCAA tournament first round contest last Friday night at Class of 1952 Stadium.

“I think that was the perfect way to end it on this field,” said forward Gee, a native of Long Beach, Calif. “I couldn’t have asked for more than that. I have only good memories on this field now.”

Gee scored both goals in the first 20 minutes and Princeton Day School product Grace Barbara made three saves including a huge one early in the second half as Princeton improved to 15-2-1. Princeton advances to face eighth-seeded TCU, an 8-0 winner of Prairie View A&M, on November 19 at Rutgers, which is the bracket’s No. 1 seed.

“I’ve seen every top team in the country because I like to see how we match up in general in case we get there,” said Princeton head coach Sean Driscoll, whose team would face the victor of the Rutgers-Saint Louis matchup on November 21 in a Sweet 16 matchup if it can defeat the Horned Frogs.

“TCU is exceptional. Very, very good; very athletic, very well coached. I know Eric (Bell, TCU head coach) just from his time at Florida State. They’re a great team.” more

PULLING AWAY: Princeton University football player John Volker races upfield last Saturday as the Tigers defeated Yale 35-20. Freshman running back Volker rushed for 29 yards and caught a 64-yard touchdown pass in the win as Princeton improved to 8-1 overall and 5-1 Ivy League. The Tigers are tied for first in the league standings with Dartmouth, also 8-1 overall and 5-1 Ivy, with one game left in the season. Princeton plays at Penn (3-6 overall, 1-5 Ivy) on November 20 in its season finale. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming off a disappointing 31-7 defeat at Dartmouth, its first setback of the fall, the Princeton University football team was chomping at the bit to get back on the field as its hosted Yale last Saturday with first place in the Ivy League on the line.

But Princeton had to wait a little longer as a line of thunderstorms swept through the area delaying the Senior Day ceremony and kickoff by 90 minutes.

“It was a very emotional day for sure with the lightning delay, it was very unusual,” said Princeton senior receiver Dylan Classi.

Emotions were high for Princeton as it looked to bounce back from the defeat to the Big Green.

“It was a tough loss but everything we want is still in front of us and that was the mentality throughout the week,” said Classi.

“We knew we were playing for a championship. Practice was where it started. We had a great week of practice, we were able to come out today and execute.”

The Tigers went out and executed very well, pulling away to a 35-20 win over the Bulldogs before a crowd of 7,686 at Princeton Stadium to improve to 8-1 overall and 5-1 Ivy. Princeton is tied for first place in the league standings with Dartmouth, also 8-1 overall and 5-1 Ivy, with one game left in the season. more

WRIGHT DIRECTION: Princeton University men’s basketball player Ethan Wright dribbles up court last week in Princeton’s season opener against visiting Rutgers-Camden. Senior guard and co-captain Wright scored seven points as the Tigers prevailed 94-28 over the Division III Scarlet Raptors. Over the weekend, Wright starred as Princeton advanced to the final of the inaugural Asheville Championship, topping South Carolina 66-62 in the semis and then falling 87-80 in double overtime to Minnesota in the championship game. In the loss to Minnesota on Sunday, Wright recorded a double-double with 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Princeton hosts Marist on November 17 before playing at Oregon State on November 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Ethan Wright didn’t waste any time getting back into the flow for the Princeton University men’s basketball team as it hosted Rutgers-Camden to open its season.

As Princeton hit the court on November 9 for the first time since March 2020 after that season was halted due to the pandemic and the 2020-21 campaign was canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, senior guard and tri-captain Wright scored the first seven points of the contest.

“We have been waiting a long time to be back,” said Wright.

“It felt great to be back with the guys and playing against somebody else in uniform with fans. I haven’t done that in over 600 days. Last time I did that, I was a sophomore. A lot has changed since then. It was incredible to be back in Jadwin.”

Wright’s early outburst set the tone as Princeton went on to rout the Division III Scarlet Raptors 94-28.

“Coach (Mitch Henderson) was emphasizing getting off to a hot start so we could play a bunch of guys,” said Wright.

“I thought we executed really well early on and got some quick baskets. We like to run a lot so that was a quick start for us.”

Princeton executed well despite the long hiatus from game action. more

DOUBLING HER FUN: Princeton University women’s basketball player Julia Cunningham dribbles the ball last Sunday against visiting Boston University. Junior guard Cunningham posted her first career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds to help the Tigers prevail 69-40 in its first game at Jadwin Gym since February 2020. The win improved Princeton to 3-0 and extended its winning streak to 25 stretching back to the 2019-20 campaign. The Tigers play at Rhode Island on November 20 and at Temple on November 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University women’s basketball team having its 2020-21 season canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, Julia Cunningham took a gap year and turned her attention to self-improvement.

“With the year off, you are not playing games and there is not that kind of strain on your body, you get to focus on some of things you wouldn’t normally get to focus on — getting in shape, getting stronger, lifting together,” said Princeton junior guard Cunningham, a 5’11 native of Watchung, N.J., who lived with two of her teammates in the Princeton area during the 2020-21 school year.

“I think it was really important. We spent a lot of time in the gym, getting shots up, getting reps.”

Last Sunday as Princeton hosted Boston University for its first game at Jadwin Gym since February 29, 2020, Cunningham displayed the fruits of that labor, contributing 20 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double-double to help Princeton pull away to a 69-40 win over the Terriers.

The win improved the Tigers to 3-0 and extended their winning streak to 25 stretching back to the 2019-20 campaign.

“I think for me it is the defense into offense,” said Cunningham, reflecting on her progress.

“We really get our momentum from the defensive end and coming down offensively we are just very confident. We rep it out in practice here on our home court. We get a lot of shots up on these baskets, it is just being confident with the ball in my hands.” more

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University men’s hockey team playing its first game at Hobey Baker Rink in more than 20 months last Saturday evening, the Tigers gave the fans on hand their money’s worth.

Hosting Long Island University, Princeton jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Liam Gorman and Ian Murphy only to see the Sharks tally four unanswered goals in the second period to go up 4-2. Princeton responded with goals by David Ma and Corey Andonovski in the third to force overtime. Neither team scored in overtime and the game ended in a 4-4 tie.

Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty was thrilled to see his players hit the ice at Baker Rink for the first time since losing 2-0 to Brown on February 29, 2020.

“To be back home after 623 days was great,” said Fogarty.

“There was great excitement from the players. They had a major jump in the first part of the game, we played really well throughout.” more

STANDING TALL: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Sophia Lis, left, celebrates after scoring a goal against Hopewell Valley in the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional final last Friday. Senior star and Lehigh-bound Lis scored two goals in the contest as top-seeded PHS prevailed 2-0 over the second-seeded Bulldogs. The Tigers, who improved to 20-2 with the triumph, will now play at South champion Lacey (15-6-1) in the Group 3 semis on November 17 with the victor advancing to the state Group 3 final on November 21 at Kean University. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton High girls’ soccer team, the third time proved to be the charm as it hosted Hopewell Valley in the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional final last Friday.

With PHS having lost 3-2 to HoVal in the regular season and then dropping a 3-1 decision in the Mercer County Tournament semis, the top-seeded Tigers turned the tables on the second-seeded Bulldogs, winning 2-0 in the sectional final.

PHS, which improved to 20-2 with the triumph, now play at South champion Lacey (15-6-1) in the Group 3 semis on November 17 with the victor advancing to the state Group 3 final on November 21 at Kean University.

Coming into round three with Hopewell, Tiger head coach Dave Kosa fine-tuned his game plan.

“We were definitely trying to be the aggressor and get on the attack first,” said Kosa, who is in his first season guiding the program.

“We taped the first two games; it was learning what we did not so good and just trying to take away some of the things that they do well. We limited their corners, we didn’t let them behind us. They got behind us in the first two games and in this case they didn’t so that took away a lot of their set pieces and a lot of their corner kicks. Second of all, we were looking to win all of the 50/50 balls. We scouted them against Brick in the sectional semis and Brick controlled most of the play. They were all over them too, they were really, really aggressive, marking closely. We took that and used that to our advantage.” more

FAST COMPANY: Members of the Princeton High boys’ cross country team take off at the start of the Mercer County championship meet last month at Washington Crossing Park. Last Saturday, PHS placed fourth at the state Group 4 championship meet at Holmdel Park. The Tigers figure to be back at Holmdel on November 20 for the Meet of Champions as they should make the meet as a wild card entry after three state Group races remaining were to be completed on November 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Earlier this month, the Princeton High boys’ cross country team found itself in a battle with Manalapan High for first place at Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet.

PHS prevailed in the November 13 competition at Thompson Park, scoring 82 points to edge Manalapan by two points to win the title.

Last Saturday at Holmdel Park in the state Group 4 championship meet, the two squads were again matching each other stride for stride but this time the prize was third place.

While PHS junior Andrew Kenny had a big day, taking eighth individually in a time of 16:15 over the famed 5,000-meter course, it was not enough as Manalapan came in at 134 to take third with the Tigers posting a score of 149 to grab fourth. Powerhouse Ridge took first at 91 with Westfield coming in second with a score of 99.

The next PHS finisher was junior Marty Brophy who took 42nd in 17:08 with junior Zachary Deng finishing 46th in 17:11, senior Addison Motto coming in 47th 17:13, and sophomore Maxwell Dunlap placing 55th in 17:21.

As for the PHS girls, junior star Robin Roth continued her late surge. After taking second individually at the Mercer County Championships and fifth at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet, Roth placed 17th overall at the Group meet, posting a time of 20:06. more