December 22, 2021

Utilizing Conditioning Gained from Rowing, Devine Showing Progress for PHS Girls’ Hoops

INSIDE PRESENCE: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Nora Devine, right, goes up for a shot last Friday against Hightstown in the season opener for both teams. Senior standout forward Devine scored a team-high 14 points, but it wasn’t nearly enough as PHS fell 60-37 to the Rams. The Tigers were slated to host Hamilton West on December 21 before the holiday break and then return to action by hosting WW/P-North on January 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Becoming a serous rower has helped Nora Devine get better on the basketball court for the Princeton High girls’ hoops team.

“I rowed for the Mercer junior team in the fall and spring and I am actually doing both right now,” said Devine, who is headed to Syracuse University where she will compete for its Division I women’s rowing program.

“I got in super good shape. I am just happy to be back and play, I wasn’t able to row all fall because I was hurt. It has translated to the court. My speed and agility and overall athleticism has improved.”

Last Friday evening, Devine displayed some of that athleticism, scoring a team-high 14 points in a losing cause as PHS fell 60-37 to visiting Hightstown in the season opener for both teams.

“I got some great passes inside and I took advantage when their taller girl was out,” said Devine, reflecting on her performance.

“It was definitely fun to play against someone that tall, I don’t think I have ever played against anyone that tall, so it was a good experience. That is what I am here for, being aggressive inside.”

The season opener against the Rams proved to be a tough experience for the Tigers. They dug a 19-6 hole in the first quarter and then outscored Rams 11-9 in the second quarter to pull within 28-17 at halftime. PHS cut the deficit to 33-23 late in the third but the game got away from them after that as the Rams cruised to victory.

“Coming into the game we felt we were mentally ready and physically we put a lot of the work in,” said Devine.

“In the second quarter, we started moving together but then we took a couple of steps backwards. We definitely have it in us but mentally we have to get through it.”

Having worked her way up the ranks of the program, Devine is relishing the chance to serve as a team captain.

“It has been fun to be a senior for sure, I have been on the team for four years,” said Devine.

“It is a fun experience to be able to lead the team a little bit. I love being with the girls.”

Devine has had fun sharing her hoops experience with her family as her older sister, Erin, a 2019 PHS alum, starred for the Tigers and her father has played a key role in improving her game.

“I almost feel like I am in my sister’s shoes from four years ago,” said Devine.

“I started playing as lot later than she did, I didn’t start playing until the seventh grade. I like to follow in the Devine footsteps, keeping No. 32 in the name. My dad loves to shoot with us in the driveway, I think that is his favorite hobby.”

With PHS slated to host Hamilton West on December 21 before the holiday break and then returning to action by hosting WW/P-North on January 4, Devine believes the squad can get on the winning track.

“The talent is there and we have the opportunity to be a really successful team this season,” said Devine.

“It is just mentally getting into the game and being ready to dominate. We have a lot of good plays we can run so it is really just executing. We have a lot of opportunity this season.”