Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 49
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
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HOOKED UP: Stuart Country Day basketball star Jasmine Smarr puts up a hook shot in action last season. Coming off a strong freshman season which saw her average 9.6 points a game, Smarr will be a key piece of the puzzle for Stuart this winter. The Tartans tip off their 2008-09 season by playing in the George School Tournament on December 5-6.

With Triple-Threat Backcourt in Place, Stuart Hoops Looking for Inside Punch

Bill Alden

Last winter, the Stuart Country Day School basketball team made its living with a triple-threat backcourt that could outflank its foes.

With sophomore Diamond Lewis running the show and freshmen running-mates Amber Bowman and Jasmine Smarr lighting things up from the start, Stuart raced its way to a 14-10 season.

The speedy Lewis averaged 17.8 points a game while Bowman chipped in 13.4 points and Smarr added 9.6 points a contest.

As Stuart head coach Tony Bowman looks ahead to the 2008-09 season, he believes his Big Three will have some reinforcements this winter.

“We have seven or eight kids who can play; we should be deeper,” said Bowman, whose team tips off the season by facing Agnes Irwin on December 5 in the opening round of the two-day George School Tournament.

“We will be able to play a lot more aggressively. Everyone is more hungry; they put in a lot of work over the offseason.”

Fortunately, the trio of Lewis, Bowman, and Smarr hasn’t lost any of the aggressiveness that marked their play last winter.

“They are looking good,” said Bowman, who is looking for freshman guards Paris Brinker, Jules Healy, and Angela Gallagher to give him some productive minutes. “They play very well together; I think we are set on the perimeter.”

If Stuart is to keep improving, Bowman needs his post duo of junior Sarah Schulte and senior Caroline Passano to play well.

“I am looking for 10-12 points a game from Schulte,” added Bowman. “Passano is a senior and I am looking for her to be more aggressive on offense. She is someone I think we can rely on inside. She is a leader; she seems to want that responsibility. We need to cement the front row. If we do that, we will be very tough to beat.”

Bowman is looking forward to getting a tough challenge in the season opener.

“Playing Agnes Irwin will be a good test,” said Bowman. “They were a senior-oriented team last year. We have sophomores and juniors leading the way for us; I am looking to see what we can do.”

In Bowman’s view, his team can do a lot this winter. “We played a lot of hard schools last year; I told them to play at a high level and that if they don’t give up, good things will happen,” said Bowman.

“I think we can do a lot better than we did last year. They are grasping information quickly, particularly on defense. We are doing a mentor program; the older kids are helping the younger ones get used to the program.”

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