March 4, 2020

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

February 26, 2020

Nearly 40 years to the day after the U.S. men’s hockey team stunned Russia at the 1980 Winter Olympics, the Princeton High boys’ hockey team celebrates after it pulled off a miracle of its own in the Mercer County Tournament final last Friday. Trailing six-time defending champion Hun 5-0 in the second period and 5-2 with 3:57 left in the third period, PHS scored four goals in the next 2:26 to take the lead and then added an empty net tally to put the finishing touch on a shocking 7-5 victory. See page 27 for more details on the game. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Donald Gilpin

Steve Cochrane

Steve Cochrane, superintendent of the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) since January 2014, has announced that he will be stepping down at the end of this school year.

In a letter to the school community on Monday, Cochrane, 60, stated, “Retirement is uncharted territory for me, but my wife and I have made the decision to move closer to my mom who is now in her 90s and living on her own in my hometown of Seattle.”

But Cochrane is not ready to leave behind the world of education. “I am also hopeful I can find a way to return to the roots of my career in higher education and take what I have learned over the last four decades to help prepare future teachers and principals,” he said.

After growing up near Seattle where his father was an Episcopal bishop, Cochrane  earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature from Princeton University and his master’s degree in education from Harvard University. Cochrane returned to Princeton in 1985 as admissions officer and associate dean of students.  more

TOWN-GOWN CHAT: Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber (center, right) visited Monday night’s Princeton Council meeting, and he and Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert (center, left) led a discussion on collaboration, equity, sustainability, and a number of other topics important to both the town and the University.

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber made his annual visit to Princeton Council on Monday night, February 24, at Monument Hall, and the freewheeling conversation with Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert and Council members ranged widely over a number of issues that are important to both the town and the University.

Collaboration — past and present, as well as future possibilities — was the main theme as the discussion focused on sustainability, equity, growth and development, public safety, and transportation.

Starting with an appreciation for Mayor Lempert’s work, particularly in opening channels of communication, Eisgruber highlighted renowned Princeton mathematician Oscar Veblen and his impact on the University, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the town of Princeton.  Eisgruber noted Veblen’s early efforts to help refugees coming out of Europe before World War II. more

By Wendy Greenberg

Judy Hutton


In 2007 Judy Hutton, CEO of YWCA Princeton, and her counterpart at the Trenton YWCA were discussing racism within the broader community, when they decided they should go a step further. She recalled both asking, “But what are we doing to eliminate it?”

And so Stand Against Racism was born, and a few years later was adopted by the national YWCAs. “Until we eliminate racism,” said Hutton, “we’re really not empowering women.”

Stand Against Racism is among the many successful programs Hutton will leave as her legacy at the YWCA Princeton when the she retires June 30 after leading the organization for 13 years. Board President Megan Adams announced Hutton’s retirement in a recent letter, posted on the Y’s website, in which she stated, “The YWCA Princeton, and the greater Mercer County community, has benefited immensely from Judy’s leadership and vision for a world free from inequity.” Adams called Stand Against Racism a program “that will forever stand out.” more

“ARTISTRY IN QUILTS”: Mada Coles Galloway is one of three quilters who will speak on Saturday, February 29at 1 p.m. at the William Trent House Museum in Trenton. All three are members of the Princeton Sankofa Stitchers Modern Quilt Guild, whose focus is on African American history in quilts. Their work is on display at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park through April 19.

By Anne Levin

Quilting is addictive. Those who spend copious amounts of time sewing layers of fabric together to create unique, often colorful coverings, are the first to admit that it can easily become habit-forming.

“I’ve been quilting forever. I made my first baby quilt when my daughter was born 35 years ago, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” said Mada Coles Galloway, who lives in Lawrenceville. “I just love the freedom of expression it gives me.”

Galloway is one of three well-known quilters who will speak at the William Trent House Museum on Saturday, February 29 at 1 p.m. Galloway, Princeton resident Juandamarie Gikandi, and Hamilton resident Gail Mitchell are members of the Princeton Sankofa Stitchers Modern Quilt Guild, whose focus is on African American history in quilts. Their work is currently on display at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie through April 19. more

By Anne Levin

Surrounded by supporters of his campaign to be Princeton’s next mayor, Mark Freda spoke briefly at a public event last week that got the effort off to an official start.

“I like to get things done,” he told the gathering at the Italian American Sportsmen’s Club on Wednesday, February 19. “I say do it, do it, get it done.”

A former Princeton Borough Council member for 13 years, Freda is president of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad and has served with the Princeton Fire Department since 1974. He chaired the Transition Task Force to help facilitate the consolidation of the former Borough and Township in 2013, and lists several other areas of community service on his campaign website.

Freda told the assembled crowd that Princeton should be spending more money on roads. He mentioned future use of Monument Hall, which some have suggested be the site of a future hotel — “a bad premise,” he said. He also touched on the town’s current Climate Action Plan, which he would continue to support. more

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton Council, at a special February 19 meeting, approved the Thanet Road Redevelopment Plan calling for the construction of a 221-unit multi-family development — including six affordable apartments and five additional affordable apartments for special needs adults — and a 100 percent senior affordable development with 80 units.

AvalonBay, the developer of the multi-family development, will pay a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) on the property equal to 11 percent of total rental income for 30 years, with the proceeds from these payments earmarked to offset the costs of constructing the affordable senior development.

The Council also approved a redevelopers agreement with AvalonBay and designated AvalonBay and developer and general contractor PIHRL as the redevelopers of the site.

“It’s a good deal for the municipality,” said Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert, pointing out the high affordable housing requirement and short timeline with a deadline in 2025. “This is meeting a critical need.”  more

By Stuart Mitchner

“Where are our black players?” That’s the question August “Gussie” Busch, the beer-baron owner of the St. Louis Cardinals, asked his manager and coaching staff one day in the 1950s, according to David Halberstam’s October 1964 (Ballantine 1995). “How can it be the great American game if blacks can’t play? … Hell, we sell beer to everyone.” Not only was Busch well aware that Budweiser sold more beer to the black community than any other brewery in the country, he’d heard rumors of an integrate-or-else boycott.

At this point I was about to resort to that old crutch, “the rest is history,” except it’s not that simple, it never is. When I first wrote about October 1964 in October 2014, I had no knowledge of the provocative historical evidence that would be revealed to me in February 2020. My focus was on the merging of African American history with baseball history in Halberstam’s account of how the Cardinals eventually “came to deal with race with a degree of maturity and honesty rarely seen in baseball at that time.”  By spring training 1964, a racially balanced team was being put together and harmoniously integrated. Busch’s solution to the issue of segregated living facilities, and Florida law, was to have a wealthy friend buy a motel and rent space in an adjoining one, so that the players and their families could stay together. As Halberstam writes, “a major highway ran right by the motel, and there, in an otherwise segregated Florida, locals and tourists alike could see the rarest of sights: white and black children swimming in the motel pool together, and white and black players, with their wives, at desegregated cookouts.”

Fifty years later in a St. Louis suburb, a white cop shot an unarmed black youth named Michael Brown. Even as the Redbirds were on their way to winning the Central Division, the Michael Brown story dominated the news, the shadow of Ferguson spreading in the direction of Busch Stadium until a group of protestors, most of them African Americans, gathered outside the home of “Cardinal Nation” during the National League Division Series. The result was a shouting match that tainted the racially enlightened narrative of 1964 and the generally accepted notion that St. Louis fans were the most savvy, civil, and respectful in baseball.

Writing six years ago, I wondered how many fans affronted by the intrusion of racial conflict on the hallowed ground of playoff baseball knew that Michael Brown’s family had placed a Cardinals cap on the lid of his coffin. Various news stories pictured people in the Ferguson crowds casually attired in Redbird regalia, and there were undoubtedly fans among the Ferguson cops who showed up at Busch wearing Cardinal jackets and hats, as devoted to the emblem of the two redbirds on the slanted bat as the citizens of Ferguson rallying for justice in the name of Michael Brown. more

By Nancy Plum

Like many performing arts organizations this year, Princeton University Concerts has joined the worldwide celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. Last week, Princeton University Concerts presented the New York-based Calidore String Quartet in a concert linking Beethoven with the 21st century with a performance of a newly-commissioned piece and one of Beethoven’s most monumental chamber works.

Celebrating its 10th season, the Calidore Quartet has received significant international acclaim, especially after winning the inaugural M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition in 2016. Violinists Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, violist Jeremy Berry, and cellist Estelle Choi brought their technical virtuosity to Richardson Auditorium last Thursday night to pay tribute to Beethoven, contemporary interpretation of his music, and the Baroque form of the fugue. Featured in this program was the world premiere of a string quartet commissioned by Princeton University Concerts through Music Accord — a partnership among U.S. presenters dedicated to not only commissioning new works, but also ensuring the very necessary repeat performances of these pieces. more

NO ACCOMPANIMENT: The Filharmonic is among the vocal ensembles in “A Cappella Live!,” at the State Theatre Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. Visit for tickets.

State Theatre New Jersey presents A Cappella Live! featuring  boy band The Filharmonic, gospel and R&B group Committed, beatbox master Blake Lewis, and internationally-inspired singers Women of the World on Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. more

CABARET WITH KATIE: Katie Welsh Brings “Cabaret Night” to Rat’s Restaurant in Hamilton on Thursday, February 27. Broadway musicals with a New York theme are her focus.

On Thursday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m., singer Katie Welsh will present Cabaret Night at Rat’s Restaurant: New York On Broadway at Rat’s Restaurant at Grounds for Sculpture. This is the first time Welsh’s “Cabaret Night,” familiar to Princeton audiences from her appearances at the Arts Council of Princeton, will be performed at Rat’s. Pianist David Pearl will be accompanist. more

“TIN CEILING PRESENTS…”: The West Windsor Arts Council kicks off its new series of music and dance performances, film screenings, and more with saxophonist Tom Tallitsch and his jazz quartet on Saturday, February 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. The series, to be held at the West Windsor Arts Center, 952 Alexander Road, Princeton Junction, will showcase regional talent.

Starting Saturday, February 29, West Windsor Arts Council will be hosting a series of music and dance performances, film screenings, and other events in its versatile gallery space. The series, called “Tin Ceiling Presents…,” will showcase regional talent representing a broad range of genres.

“We are inviting the community into this wonderful space to enjoy a variety of live shows and screenings,” says West Windsor Arts Council Executive Director Aylin Green. “We are already lining up performers and events for the fall. The response has been very enthusiastic for this type of venue in our community.”

“Tin Ceiling Presents…” kicks off with a lively musical performance by saxophonist Tom Tallitsch and his jazz quartet on February 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tallitsch has performed at a number of notable jazz clubs in and around New York City, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. He has toured frequently across the United States as both a leader and a sideman. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by many other vocalists and musicians, as well as individual dancers from the Martha Graham Dance Company. more

“DRAGONFLY ON BLUE”: This photograph by Julie Tennant won Best in Show for “Life in the Garden,” the Stony Brook Garden Club’s 2020 juried exhibition of members’ photography. The exhibit is on view in the Olivia Rainbow Gallery at D&R Greenway Land Trust in Princeton through March 27.

“Life in the Garden,” the Stony Brook Garden Club’s 2020 juried exhibition of members’ photography, is now on view in D&R Greenway’s Olivia Rainbow Gallery through March 27. The exhibit features nature photographs in categories including Residents/Guests/Interlopers (pollinators); Constructing Beauty; and Winter’s Tale.

Best in Show was awarded by judges from the Garden Club of America to novice Julie Tennant for her photograph “Dragonfly on Blue.” It is featured in the Residents/Guests/Interlopers category, which emphasizes the crucial role of pollinators in gardens. The judges’ comments on Tennant’s work point out the photograph’s “stunning simplicity of line and color, [accomplished through] sharp vertical and horizontal lines set against a clean complementary color.” more

HISTORIC SETTING: Artsbridge will host its 26th Annual “Members’ Art Exhibition” in the grist mill at historic Prallsville Mills in Stockton. The exhibit will be on view March 8-21, with an opening reception on Sunday, March 8 from 4-6 p.m. (Photo by Rodney Miller)

Artsbridge will hold its 26th Annual “Members’ Art Exhibition,” showcasing its members’ art, March 8-21 at Prallsville Mills in Stockton. From realistic to abstract, impressionist to contemporary, visitors and collectors will find a wide variety of work that celebrates the energy and inspiration of the Delaware River Valley.

New members are welcome to join this nonprofit organization of over 200 artists. With no entry fee, the show provides an opportunity for area artists to show and sell their work. In addition to this exhibition, Artsbridge members’ benefits throughout the year include a Distinguished Artist lecture series, a plein-air painting group, discussion groups, and more. more

“SNOWY AND WOODY”: This illustration by Roger Duvoisin is featured in “Mood Books: The Children’s Stories of Alvin Tresselt and Roger Duvoisin,” opening March 14 at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers in New Brunswick. The exhibition features more than 30 original watercolor and gouache illustrations from four of their collaborations: “White Snow, Bright Snow,” Hide and Seek Fog,” “It’s Time Now!,” and “What Did You Leave Behind?” The exhibit runs through December 30.

The name Roger Duvoisin is familiar to Zimmerli audiences: the museum’s gallery dedicated to its collection of original children’s book illustrations is named in his honor, more than half of that collection consists of Duvoisin’s artwork, and numerous exhibitions have celebrated this beloved author and illustrator.

Now, “Mood Books: The Children’s Stories of Alvin Tresselt and Roger Duvoisin” delves into one of the most important aspects of his career, a partnership with author Alvin Tresselt that spanned three decades and resulted in 18 books.

The exhibition, opening March 14 at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, features more than 30 original watercolor and gouache illustrations from four of their collaborations: White Snow, Bright Snow, Hide and Seek Fog, It’s Time Now!, and What Did You Leave Behind?, all published by Lothrop, Lee & Shepard in New York. The images capture an array of feelings evoked by common experiences that tend to stick with us throughout life in very uncommon ways. more

BULLY FOR HER: Princeton University women’s hockey player Carly Bullock tracks the puck in recent action. Bullock enjoyed a milestone Senior Weekend as Princeton posted 5-1 wins over Brown on Friday and Yale a day later. Star forward Bullock tallied three goals and an assist against the Bears and then had two goals and an assist in the win over the Bulldogs, hitting the 150-point mark in her career in the process. The Tigers, now 22-5-1 overall and 17-4-1 ECAC Hockey, start action in the ECACH quarterfinals where they are seeded second and will host seventh-seeded Quinnipiac (18-13-3 overall,11-9-2 ECACH)  in a best-of-three series starting on February 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Carly Bullock wanted to put on a show for her family as the Princeton University women’s hockey team held its annual Senior Day celebration last weekend.

“My siblings are here, they didn’t get to come out a lot,” said senior forward Bullock, a native of Eden Prairie, Minn. “I have always wanted to do my best when everyone is watching.”

Bullock came through with one of the best weekends of her career, tallying three goals and an assist as Princeton defeated Brown 5-1 on Friday night and then chipping in two goals and an assist as the Tigers defeated Yale 5-1 a day later.

“At the end of the season, every game matters and every team is coming out and bringing their all,” said Bullock, who hit the 150-point mark (91 goals, 59 assists) in her Princeton career with her final goal against Yale, becoming the ninth player in program history to achieve that milestone. more

LIFE OF REILLY: Princeton University women’s lacrosse player Katie Reilly heads up the field last Saturday as ninth-ranked Princeton hosted No. 8 Virginia. Senior attacker Reilly contributed an assist in a losing cause as the Tigers fell 12-10 to the Cavaliers. Princeton, now 1-1, plays at Villanova on February 26 and then opens Ivy League play with a game at Columbia on February 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Katie Reilly is especially motivated to make the most of her final season with the Princeton University women’s lacrosse team.

The senior attacker is one of the Tiger captains along with classmates Annie Cory and Tess D’Orsi and has started the first two games of the year after appearing in just 13 total games in her first three seasons since coming from Huntingdon, N.Y., where she was a three-sport star, playing soccer and basketball in addition to lacrosse.

“Obviously it stinks a little bit to come and have to watch and learn, but I think that’s exactly what you do,” said Reilly. “You watch and learn. The difference between high school and college, there’s a really big difference in tempo, intensity, all this. For most programs, unless you’re phenomenal, you’re not just going to walk in and displace anybody. Everybody is really good. I think it’s really valuable to see the other perspective and be on the sideline. It teaches you that you have to work hard if you want to get something, it’s not just going to come to you. It gives you a different perspective and I think that’s helpful in being a leader and being a player in general.” more

ROLLING STONE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Grace Stone dribbles up the court in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore guard Stone matched her career high with 16 points as Princeton defeated Dartmouth 87-55 to post its 17th straight win. The Tigers, who improved to 21-1 overall and 9-0 Ivy League with the win, were slated to host Penn on February 25, Brown on February 28, and Yale on February 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When Karen Stone sang the national anthem before the Princeton University women’s basketball team played Dartmouth last Saturday evening, one player was particularly inspired.

“It was super cool for me,” said Stone’s daughter, Princeton sophomore guard Grace Stone.

“She used to sing at my high school games too. It was always a nice thing that we shared, so it was nice for her to come in and represent the Stone family. It just sent me with a lot of energy into the game.”

One minute into the game, the energy in the building was sapped when Princeton senior star and two-time Ivy League Player of the Year Bella Alarie crumpled to the floor after missing a layup, clutching her right knee and yelping in pain. more

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

By Justin Feil

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

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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

By Bill Alden

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

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

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

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