December 31, 2014

PDS Boys’ Hoops Advances to Wardlaw Title Game, While PHS Girls, Stuart Stay Home for Holiday Fun


HOLIDAY CHEER: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player J.P. Radvany accepts congratulations in a game last winter. Over the weekend, senior forward Radvany played well as PDS made it to the final of the Wardlaw-Hartridge Tournament. He scored 10 points as the Panthers edged Keyport 43-41 in the opening round last Friday. PDS went on to fall 39-28 to North Warren in the title game a day later. The Panthers now 2-4, host Hamilton on January 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

After losing its first three games this season, the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team found the formula for success when it edged George School (Pa.) 39-32 on December 18.

“In the George game they saw that if they focus on defense for 32 minutes, they could pull out a win,” said PDS head coach Paris McLean.

“It made me happy to see them happy. We know how hard they work in practice, in the weight room, and watching film. They were rewarded with a victory that they earned.”

Last weekend at the Wardlaw-Hartridge Tournament, the Panthers displayed their defensive intensity and work ethic. On Friday, they rallied to edge Keyport 43-41 in an opening round contest.

“We called a timeout with six minutes left in the game when we were down by six,” recalled McLean. “We told them they were acting like the game was over even though there was a lot of time left. They came out and made three stops and got three baskets. Then Chase (Lewis) hit a runner to win the game.”

McLean liked the way his players built on the George win. “It was a great team effort,” said McLean, who got 19 points from Lewis with seniors J.P. Radvany and Josiah Meekins, scoring 10 and nine, respectively. “They had a 6’6 center and we did a good job on him.”

In the title game, the Panthers went cold offensively but didn’t lose their defensive focus in a 39-28 defeat to North Warren.

“The offense sputtered a bit; I think we were a little gassed from the game before and playing on back-to-back nights,” said McLean. “The defense held up. The shots aren’t always going to fall but you can have that tenacious defense.”

With only three returning players from last year, defense is going to be a calling card for the young, inexperienced Panthers.

“The scoring will come; it takes a little longer for the offense to jell,” said McLean. “If we continue to be focused on the defensive end, we will stay in games. People talk about going on 8-0 runs. We are looking at the 0 part of that and getting three stops in a row to have defensive runs. You can always be disciplined on defense.”

McLean sees good things on the horizon for his squad. “We just need to keep getting better and getting experience,” added McLean, whose team starts the 2015 portion of the season by hosting Hamilton on January 5. “It is a lot of teaching but it is a lot of fun.”

Two girls’ teams, Princeton High and Stuart Country Day, stayed home to play during the holidays and had plenty of fun. Stuart hosted a Christmas Tournament last weekend and crosstown rival PHS was one of the four participants.

The Little Tigers fell 44-36 to Germantown Friends (Pa.) in the first round on Saturday but rebounded a day later to defeat the Doane Academy 58-23 in a consolation contest. Three seniors led the way for PHS against Doane as it improved to 2-2 with Mira Shane scoring 12 points and classmates Catherine Curran-Groome adding nine and Mia Levy chipping in eight. The Little Tigers are next in action when they play at Florence on January 5 and at Ewing on January 6.

Stuart, for its part, started things with a bang, topping Doane 44-31 in an opening round contest on Saturday as senior Kate Walsh poured in 24 points and classmate Harlyn Bell contributed 10. The Tartans, though, fell in the title game as Germantown Friends posted a 45-17 victory. Stuart, now 6-4, plays at Hightstown on January 2.