July 6, 2022

With Bar-Cohen Back in Synch With PHS Buddies, Market on Main Produces 3-1 Start in Summer Hoops

RAISING THE BAR: Gefen Bar-Cohen heads to the hoop for Market on Main against Planet Fitness in action last Wednesday in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Former Princeton High standout and current Kenyon College player Bar-Cohen tallied 22 points in a losing cause as Market on Main fell 69-44 to Planet Fitness. Two days later, Bar-Cohen scored 14 points to help Market on Main defeat Jefferson Plumbing 55-49 as it improved to 3-1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

When a downpour drove the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League from Community Park into the Princeton High gym last Wednesday evening, Gefen Bar-Cohen felt a comfort level.

“It definitely brings back a lot of memories,” said former PHS standout Bar-Cohen, who is playing this summer for the Market on Main squad that is comprised of his high school teammates. “I like to think that I play a little better on this court than anywhere else.”

Bar-Cohen, a 2020 PHS grad, played very well for Market on Main as it battled Planet Fitness, tallying a team-high 22 points. 

But Bar-Cohen’s heroics weren’t enough as Planet Fitness pulled away to 69-44 win over Market on Main with Myles Mitchell-White pouring in 22 to lead the way for the victors.

Reflecting on the setback, Bar-Cohen acknowledged that Market on Main wasn’t at its sharpest despite its home-court advantage.

“I thought we were going to come here and we were going to be able to put up a good fight,” said Bar-Cohen. “We were a little tired, we were a step behind.”

Bar-Cohen, though, never tires of the chance to hit the court with his former high school teammates.

“It has been awesome, any time I can spend with my friends from high school back on the court is amazing,” said Bar-Cohen of the squad which includes such former Tiger standouts as Tim Evidente, Ethan Guy, Jack Suozzi, Matt Rinaldi, Ben Moyer, Judd Petrone, and Jay Jackson. “It is just the sheer fact that we can be competitive and play hard.”

Last winter, Bar-Cohen got the chance to compete in college as he made his debut for the Kenyon College men’s hoops team.

“It was really nice playing
at the collegiate level,” said Bar-Cohen, a 6’4, 185-pound forward who made 20 appearances with nine starts for the Lords last winter, averaging 5.8 points and 3.0 rebounds a game.

“I started the first couple games of the season and I got taken out of the rotation. It was the inconsistencies of being in your freshman year. You really have to go head down and stay focused all of the time. I think I learned a lot, it is big grind.”

For Bar-Cohen, the focus this summer is grinding on some of the fine points of his game.

“I am really working on decision making, making quick decisions, getting the ball on a tight handle and knocking down shots,” said Bar-Cohen. “What I think I have really improved on over the years is my finish and taking it to the rim. I really take pride in being aggressive.”

Playing with his former PHS teammates allows Bar-Cohen to be more aggressive.

“They know where I am on the court at all times so we have the chemistry,” said Bar-Cohen. “It is fun to play with these guys.”

Bar-Cohen and Market on Main are looking to have more fun as the summer unfolds.

“I think this loss was a bit of an anomaly; I am really optimistic going into the next few games,” said Bar-Cohen, who scored 14 points to help Market on Main defeat Jefferson Plumbing 55-49 last Friday as the squad improved to 3-1.

“We only won one game last year so we have already doubled the win total from last year. I think we will put up a good fight. We are always competitive, we always play hard. It should be good.”