January 22, 2020

Freshman Standout Ruf Providing a Spark As PDS Girls’ Hoops Showing Progress

RUF AND TUMBLE: Princeton Day School girls’ basketball player Kirsten Ruf heads to the basket in recent action. Last Thursday, freshman star Ruf scored 12 points in a losing cause as PDS fell 51-16 to visiting Pingry. The Panthers, now 1-12, play at Hamilton on January 22 and at the Solebury School (Pa.) on January 24 before hosting Peddie on January 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kirsten Ruf wasn’t about to stop hustling even though the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball team trailed visiting Pingry 51-16 in the waning seconds last Thursday.

With Pingry bringing the ball up the court to run out the clock, PDS freshman forward Ruf pressured the dribbler up the court, looking to get a steal and one last possession for the Panthers.

In playing hard to the final buzzer, Ruf was carrying out the team’s halftime message. 

“We came out very flatfooted; we needed to pick the energy up,” said Ruf, reflecting on a tough first half which saw the Panthers trailing 35-4 at intermission.

“We weren’t coming back on defense, we were giving them wide open layups in the paint. After our halftime talk, we knew we needed to come out strong. We brought more energy in the second half and we got more shots. We needed to play like that in the first half.”

Ruf ended up hitting some shots down the stretch for the Panthers, tallying a team-high 12 points as PDS moved to 1-12 on the season.

“It was a team effort; we got the ball up the court,” said Ruf, noting that her teammates were finding her in the right spots.

After starring this past fall for the PDS girls’ soccer team that won the program’s sixth straight state Prep B title, Ruf is making the most out of her time on the court this winter. “It is a cross sport; it works different muscles,” said Ruf. “It helps improve my soccer.”

With the Panthers playing at Hamilton on January 22 and at the Solebury School (Pa.) on January 24 before hosting Peddie on January 28, Ruf believes the squad is headed in the right direction.

“We have improved over the season; we have to keep giving 110 percent at every practice,” said Ruf.

“We have to keep our heads up going into games. We have to come in knowing that we are going to put in 110 percent and that we can win. If we do that, we will start winning.”