December 29, 2021

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE: Princeton University women’s soccer goalie Grace Barbara whips the ball upfield in a game this fall. Senior star and former Princeton Day School standout Barbara helped Princeton go 15-3-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy League as the Tigers advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After the Ivy League canceled competition for the 2020 fall season and the 2020-21 winter campaign due to COVID-19 concerns, Princeton University athletes got some limited opportunities to get back in action this spring.

Princeton rowers were thrilled to get the chance to row in a regatta against boats from Temple and Drexel in Philadelphia on April 25, their first racing since spring of 2019 and the first competition for Tiger athletics in 407 days. The women’s lightweight varsity 8 went on to make history, winning the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) grand final, its first national title since 2003. On the track, star thrower Obi Amaechi punctuated her stellar career by finishing 13th in the discus in the NCAA championships, earning second-team All-American honors.

It was full speed ahead in the fall for Princeton athletes and several teams produced memorable campaigns. Tiger football went 9-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy to share the league crown with Dartmouth. Overcoming a shaky start, men’s soccer caught fire down the stretch, going 7-0 in Ivy play to win the league crown. Led by Australian Olympian steeplechaser Ed Trippas, men’s cross country won the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships and went on to place first at the NCCA Mid-Atlantic regional. Men’s water polo won the Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) tournament and topped Fordham 17-8 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Although women’s soccer didn’t win the Ivy title, it went 15-3-1 overall and 6-1 Ivy, earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Princeton posted a 2-0 win over visiting Vermont in the first round of the NCAAs before falling 3-2 in overtime to TCU in the round of 32.

While local high school teams did have a winter season, it was abbreviated and split into segments by sport. That limited campaign, though, didn’t prevent some highlight moments. Princeton High senior Chloe Ayres made history, earning her third straight state title, prevailing at 114 pounds at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) girls’ state wrestling championships.

Both the PHS boys’ and girls’ swimming teams went 12-0, competing in a virtual meet format. The Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team also went undefeated, going 5-0-1 while the Panther boys’ hockey team nearly matched that feat, posting a 4-1-1 record. The Hun School boys’ basketball team made the most out of its shortened season, going 8-2.

There was an increased sense of normalcy when the spring rolled around as postseason play resumed. The Hun baseball team rolled to a 19-2 record, winning its fifth straight state Prep A title in the process. The PHS boys’ tennis team also produced a dominant campaign, going 17-1 and winning both the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional and the CVC conference titles. Making coach Sheryl Severance’s 28th and final season coaching the boys’ golf program one to remember, Princeton High had a 15-0 record in dual match play, winning the first-ever CVC Match Play Tournament and taking second in the Central/South Jersey sectional. The Princeton Day School boys’ tennis team placed third in the state Prep B tournament, earning two individual titles as Aaron Phogat and Oliver Silverio won the first doubles flight while the pair of Will Sedgley and Mark Santamaria prevailed at second doubles.

In the fall season, a number of programs made history. Bouncing back from a 0-4-1 season in 2020, the Hun School girls’ soccer team posted a 12-5-2 record, edging Pennington 4-3 in overtime in a thrilling state Prep A final and also winning the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title. The Hun football team was a juggernaut, going 9-0 and outscoring foes 374-63 this fall. With Princeton Day School joining the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), two Panther teams earned the initial sectional titles in school history as the girls’ tennis team won the South Jersey Non-Public A championship and boys’ soccer prevailed in the South Jersey Non-Public B sectional.

Led by high-scoring striker Sophia Lis, the Princeton High girls’ soccer team produced a season for the ages, going 21-3, winning the CVC title, the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional championship, and making the program’s first-ever trip to the state Group 3 final along the way. The PHS girls’ tennis team added to its championship tradition, winning the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional crown. The Tiger cross country teams also excelled as the girls’ squad placed first at the Mercer County championship meet while the boys’ team prevailed at the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional meet. more

MAX EFFORT: Princeton University men’s basketball player Max Johns guards a foe in a game earlier this season. Last week, senior guard Johns scored a career-high 13 points in 13 minutes off the bench to help Princeton defeat Kean University 100-59. The Tigers, who improved to 10-3 with the win in the December 21 contest, are slated to play at Harvard on January 2 to start Ivy League action. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After finishing fall semester exams last week, the Princeton University men’s basketball team passed its final test before starting Ivy League play with flying colors.

Hosting Division III foe Kean University on December 21, Princeton rolled to a 100-59 win at Jadwin Gym as it improved to 10-3.

“It is an important game for us to play coming out of exams,” said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson, whose team hit the 100-point mark for the first time in a game that ended in regulation since its 108-46 victory over Rowan College on November 25, 2016.

“I think Kean is a really well coached team. I am pleased that we are 10-3 wrapping it up. We know exactly where we need to focus. We have got a really tough test coming out of break when we play at Harvard.”

With Princeton slated to play at Harvard on January 2 to start Ivy action, Henderson is expecting some tough challenges in league play.

“The league is good,” said Henderson. “We are watching everyone very closely. I think it is going to be a rock fight.”

Senior guard Max Johns, who scored a career-high 13 points in 13 minutes off the bench against Kean, saw the game as good tune up for the Ivy opener.

“It was good to play someone else and show off what we are good at,” said Johns, a 6’4, 205-pound native of Hugh Point, N.C., who is averaging 3.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 13 appearances this season off the bench.

“I think it is also good to identify what we need to work on and that game was good for that. Defensively, me personally but the team in general probably needs to do a better job of being in position early and not fouling.”

In the view of sophomore guard Matt Allocco, the Tigers are making progress. more

TEXAS TWO STEP: Princeton University women’s basketball player Abby Meyers heads to the hoop last Wednesday against Texas. Senior star Meyers scored a game-high 21 points, but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 70-53 to the Longhorns. The Tigers, now 7-4, are slated to host Harvard on January 2 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Hosting 12th-ranked Texas last Wednesday afternoon, the Princeton University women’s basketball team needed some early heroics by Abby Meyers to stay in the game.

With the Longhorns applying its trademark swarming defense, Meyers was the only player on Princeton who scored in the first quarter as Texas built a 15-8 lead. 

“That is an NCAA tournament type game for us, we know we need to make our shots,” said 6’0 senior guard Meyers.

“We have to be ready on our home court to knock them down, but then again, it was their defense. They got up into us and maybe that contributed to the poor shots or misses.”

While Meyers kept hitting shots, drawing Princeton to within 35-31 midway through the third quarter on a layup, the Longhorns wore down the Tigers as they pulled away to a 70-53 victory.

“The game is about runs, it depends on who has the hot hand and give it to them,” said Meyers, who ended up with a game-high 21 points in the defeat and is now averaging a team-high 17.7 points and 5.5 rebounds a game. more

December 22, 2021

BOUND FOR GLORY: Princeton University wrestler Patrick Glory ties up a foe from Lehigh in a 2019 bout. Earlier this month, junior star Glory won the 125-pound title at the prestigious Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas. In upcoming action, the Princeton wrestlers are slated to compete in the 58th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships at Hoffman Estates, Ill. from December 29-30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Patrick Glory felt like an underdog when he arrived at Princeton University in 2018 out of the Delbarton School, but quickly established himself as one of the best in the nation in his first two seasons with the Tigers.

A year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic did nothing to interrupt his status. The start of his junior season has Glory on track to be the very best.

“Going into this year, I know what it takes and what needs to happen for me to win a national championship,” said Glory.

“With two years to go, I think the sky’s the limit with what can be accomplished, not only for myself but for the team.”

Glory ended the fall semester by winning the 125-pound title at the prestigious Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas on December 4. Glory scored a 13-0 major decision over Devin Schroder of Purdue in the final to close a dominant run.

“It’s still early in the season,” said Glory. “It was a good test to see where I’m at with some of the better guys in the weight class. At the end of the day, there’s one tournament that I really care about and that really matters. That one’s at the end of March.”

The competition that Glory has his sights on is the NCAA Championships in Detroit, Mich. from March 17-19. His anticipation has been magnified because the NCAAs were canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2019-20 season just before nationals began. Then the Ivy League canceled the 2020-21 season as well.

“It was tough to know there were people competing and we were kind of sitting there watching the whole time,” said Glory.

“People were forgetting about us and that excitement and kind of aura we built winning the Ivy title for the first time in 40 years. And having six or seven guys make it to the NCAA tournament, there’s a lot of mojo that goes into that and you kind of ride that.”

As Princeton has returned to the mat for the 2021-22 campaign, Glory has picked up where he left off. He has proven himself with early wins over top-10 foes and sits ranked second in the latest InterMat Division 1 rankings.  more

ACTION JAXON: Princeton High boys’ basketball player Jaxon Petrone looks to unload the ball in game last winter. PHS was slated to tip off its 2021-22 season last Friday at Hightstown but that game was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Ram program. The Tigers are currently scheduled to play at Hightstown on December 23 and then compete in a holiday tournament at Livingston High on December 27 and 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Over the last two years, the offense for the Princeton High boys’ basketball team ran through point guard Tim Evidente and forward Ethan Guy.

With the two stars having graduated, PHS will be adopting a more free form style this winter.

“We are going to go to a position-less offense,” said Tiger head coach Pat Noone, who guided PHS to a 2-7 record last winter in a season abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns. “I think everybody is very interchangeable this year and versatile.”

That approach resonated with the players as they went through the preseason.

“It has been going good, the guys are really working hard,” said Noone, whose team was slated to open its season by playing at Hightstown last Friday but the game was canceled due to COVID issues within the Rams program.

“They are having a good time and they are starting the click, jell and play better.”

PHS, which is currently scheduled to play at Hightstown on December 23 and then compete in a holiday tournament at Livingston High on December 27 and 29, will be looking for a good season from senior standout Jaxon Petrone. more

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.” more

FAST START: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Lucy Liu competes in a freestyle race last winter. Senior standout Liu has helped PHS produce a 5-0 start this season. The Tigers were slated to wrap up the 2021 portion of their schedule by hosting Hopewell Valley on December 21 and will return to action when they host Notre Dame on January 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After both the Princeton High boys’ and girls’ swimming teams went 12-0 last winter, the squads are picking up where they left off so far in the 2021-22 campaign.

Featuring talent and depth throughout their lineups, the teams have gotten off to 5-0 starts, looking dominant in the process.

“The biggest thing that is really cool for us is numbers, we have almost 30 or 35 on each team which is huge,” said PHS head coach Carly Misiewicz, who guides both squads.

“Last year for the girls was maybe 20 or 21 and for the boys, it was 13. It was amazing that we were able to do what we did last year. I think that is why we are even more excited for this year.”

With increased depth, Misiewicz is able to mix and match the talent at her disposal.

“I can get more people in different races, we can swim different things,” said Misiewicz.

“We have so much more flexibility this year. We don’t just have to specialize and say you are always swimming these two events. The beauty is that I am able to do this with both boys and girls. A lot of the people we have are very versatile. The other teams are never going to know what they are going to get. I have already done five totally different lineups this year.” more

FROST ADVISORY: Hun School boys’ hockey player Riley Frost controls the puck in recent action. Senior forward Frost has tallied three goals and six assists to help Hun get off to a 5-5 start. The Raiders are next in action when they host Don Bosco on January 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Hun School boys’ hockey team has gotten off to an up-and-down 5-5 start, Ian McNally believes the record is not an accurate barometer of his squad’s potential.

“Everybody we have played has been good, we have shown each other that there is something here and we are not out of it in either of our leagues,” said Hun head coach McNally, whose program competes in both the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL) and the
Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference (APAC).

“There is potential to play for playoff spots and the hope to have a big finish. In some of these pretty disappointing losses against PDS (a 2-1 defeat on December 1) and Lawrenceville (a 5-4 defeat on December 14) where you feel like you deserved better, maybe that comes back around in the end. There is enough optimism there for that, we have had some big moments so far. The biggest takeaway is the proof, showing each other we can beat all of these teams.”

The Raiders came tantalizingly close to beating Lawrenceville, taking a 4-1 lead early in the third period only to see the Big Red score four unanswered goals to pull out the win.

“They scored early and then we got up 3-1, it was a very similar game a few weeks ago when we were in Pittsburgh,” said McNally.

“We played Hoosac (N.Y.) and we won 4-1. It was fast, hard. We were getting our shots and competing and we made the best of our chances. In the Lawrenceville game, they were never not there. They probably could have scored on some other occasions. We were holding on but as soon as it started to go, it went in a hurry.” more

FINISHING TOUCH: Princeton Day School girls’ basketballTochi Owunna heads upcourt last Saturday against West Windsor/Plainsboro-North. Sophomore forward Owunna scored eight points to help PDS defeat the Northern Knights 30-23 and improve to 1-1. In upcoming action, the Panthers will be taking part in a holiday tournament at South Hunterdon High from December 28-29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Undeterred by losing 63-22 to George School (Pa.) in its season opener last Friday, the Princeton Day School girls’ basketball team brought confidence into its matchup against visiting West Windsor/Plainsboro-North on Saturday morning.

“We wanted to win because we had played them in a scrimmage,” said PDS sophomore forward Tochi Owunna. “This was a winnable game.”

Trailing the Northern Knights 7-4 after the first quarter, the Panthers got things going in the second, building a 15-10 lead by halftime.

“I think we got a lot of energy,” said Owunna, reflecting on the second quarter surge which saw her contribute four points.

“We were passing the ball on offense well and we were playing really good defense.”

The Panthers held off WW/P-N down the stretch to earn a 30-23 win with Owunna ending up with eight points.

“This gave me confidence,” said Owunna of her performance. “It was also just the morale of the whole team, there was just really good energy the whole game.”

The Panthers did run low on energy in the latter stages of the contest as they tired playing in their second game in less than 24 hours.

“In the fourth quarter we started to get a little tired so went to the 2-3 but we still held our own on defense,” said Owunna. “This was our first home game so it was a really good job.” more

December 15, 2021

BOOK OF ELIJAH: Princeton University men’s basketball player Elijah Barnes defends Keondre Kennedy of UMBC last Monday night at Jadwin Gym. Senior forward Barnes tallied nine points in 13 minutes off the bench against the Retrievers, going 4 of 4 from the floor, to help Princeton pull away to an 89-77 victory. The Tigers, now 9-3, will be on a hiatus for exams and will return to action when they host Kean University on December 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University men’s basketball team deadlocked at 71-71 against UMBC last Monday evening at Jadwin Gym, an unlikely one-two tandem turned the tide in favor of the Tigers.

Little-used senior reserve Elijah Barnes scored seven points on a jumper, a dunk, and a three-pointer while senior star guard Jaelin Llewellyn hit a three-pointer and a layup to spark a 12-0 run as the Tigers pulled away to an 89-77 victory, posting their fourth straight win in improving to 9-3.

For Barnes, who had just played 33 minutes this season in six appearances off the bench entering Monday, coming up big was a matter of staying in the moment.

“I come to work every day in practice and try to be there for my teammates and support them,” said the 6’7, 215-pound Barnes, who ended up with nine points in 13 minutes on 4 of 4 shooting with two rebounds and a blocked shot.

“Whether it is helping somebody else get extra work in everyday or talking to Tosan [Evbuomwan], Zach [Martini], or Mason [Hooks] and making sure they know what they have to do. It prepares me. I watch to see that they are doing and what they need to do. As a senior, being here for a fifth year is big time. I have been around the program for a long time and I have waited my turn. I got an opportunity and I made the most of it so that is all anybody has to do.” more

GOING TO THE GLASS: Princeton University women’s basketball player Ellie Mitchell heads in for a layup in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore forward Mitchell pulled down a career-high 19 rebounds in a losing cause as Princeton fell 70-60 to Seton Hall. The defeat snapped a 21-game home winning streak for the Tigers, the third longest in the nation heading into the day. Princeton, which fell to 6-3 with the setback, hosts Texas on December 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Princeton University women’s basketball team hosting a tall and skilled Seton Hall squad last Saturday afternoon, Ellie Mitchell knew she had to hit the boards for the Tigers.

“In our last loss (76-67 to Fordham on December 5) we got out-toughed so that is one of the things we can control, work hard and hit a body and go chase the ball,” said 6’0 sophomore forward Mitchell, a native of Chevy Chase, Md.

“I think that all comes back to being a team effort, everyone boxes out. That is a big thing, whether or not shots are falling, rebounding what I need to do.”

Mitchell displayed her toughness against the Pirates, pulling down a career-high 19 rebounds, the most in a game for Princeton since Bella Alarie had 19 against Quinnipiac on December 8, 2018.

But Mitchell’s hard work on the glass wasn’t enough as Seton Hall defeated Princeton 70-60, snapping its 21-game home winning streak, the third longest in the nation heading into the day as the Tigers fell in Jadwin Gym for the first time since losing 86-76 to Yale on February 8, 2019.

“They had some great offensive players, they had two girls averaging high teens and a really big post player and we were ready for that,” said Mitchell, reflecting on the setback which dropped Princeton to 6-3. more

LOCKED IN: Princeton High boys’ hockey player Ethan Garlock controls the puck in recent action. Last Friday, junior defenseman Garlock tallied a goal and an assist to help PHS defeat Hopewell Valley 5-0. The Tigers, who defeated Nottingham 10-4 last Monday to improve to 4-1-1, play at Tenafly on December 17 to wrap up the 2021 portion of their schedule. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It is a good thing for the Princeton High boys’ hockey team when there is a Garlock wearing No. 4 and playing at defenseman for the squad.

From 2014-18, Max Garlock starred along the blue line for PHS with the No. 4 on his sweater, helping the Tigers make runs to the state tournament semis in his junior and senior seasons.

Inspired by his older brother, junior Ethan Garlock is following the family tradition, emerging as a standout defensemen for PHS.

“I definitely got into hockey because of him,” said Garlock of his older brother.

“He taught me a lot through the years, especially in my driveway helping me out and doing stuff with him. I am really grateful.”

Last Friday against Hopewell Valley, Garlock showed how well he learned those lessons, tallying an assist and a goal as PHS jumped out to a 2-0 lead and never looked back on the way to a 5-0 victory.

Just under four minutes into the contest, Garlock’s assist came on a feed to senior star Cooper Zullo, who ended up scoring three goals in the victory.

“I had the puck down low and I saw Cooper wide open on that so that was a given,” said Garlock. more

MAKING STRIDES: Princeton High girls’ basketball player Molly Brown dribbles upcourt in a game last season. PHS will be depending on senior forward and team captain Brown to provide all-around play and leadership this winter. The Tigers open their 2021-22 season by hosting Hightstown on December 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton High girls’ basketball team only played 10 games last winter in a season abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns, the squad made progress as it went 7-3.

With PHS opening its 2021-22 season by hosting Hightstown on December 17, PHS head coach Dave Kosa is looking for his program to keep showing improvement.

“We just have to keep on taking the next step and working hard in practice,” said Kosa, whose team tips off its 2021-22 campaign by hosting Hightstown on December 17.

“The freshmen last year are now sophomores. The seniors were the sophomores two years ago when we were 5-20. We are taking our strides and we are just hoping to take the next one this year.”

The squad’s quintet of seniors, Molly Brown, Nora Devine, Sofia Aguayo, Moji Ayodele, and Katie Chao are setting a positive tone. more

TOP GUN: Princeton Day School boys’ basketball player Connor Topping fires a shot in a game last winter. PDS is looking for senior star Topping to have a big final campaign. The Panthers tip off their 2021-22 campaign by playing at George School (Pa.) on December 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As Eugene Burroughs enters his second year at the helm of the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball program, he is facing a coaching challenge.

Losing some key players from last year’s squad to graduation and having a rising star, Hampton Sanders, transfer to Lawrenceville, Burroughs will need to mix and match the remaining pieces at his disposal.

“Right now, I am putting together a puzzle, we don’t have true positions,” said Burroughs, who guided PDS to a 7-3 record last winter in a season shortened by COVID-19 concerns.

“I don’t have a true, true point guard so I have to figure out how to put guys in different spots. I have to look at the matchups and we have to play to see who can do what.”

Having gotten used to the approach of Burroughs, who has coached at the college and pro levels, the returning players are on the same page with him.

“I am impressed with some of our kids and the carryover from last year, which is a sign of growth from year one to year two,” said Burroughs, whose team tips off its 2021-22 campaign by playing at George School (Pa.) on December 17. more

By Bill Alden

Logan Harrison starred at center midfield this fall for the Princeton Day School field hockey team, helping the Panthers reach the Mercer County Tournament final.

This winter, sophomore Harrison is utilizing some of what she gained from the fall to have a similar impact on the ice for the PDS girls’ hockey team.

“It is easy because the stick handling just very similar,” said Harrison, reflecting on juggling the two sports.

“It also gives me another opportunity to get my fitness up, it conditions me for hockey season.”

Last Wednesday, Harrison displayed her stick handling skills on the ice, assisting on two goals as PDS defeated Westfield 5-0.

Harrison stumbled into her first helper of the contest as she set up a goal by freshman Eibhleann Knox that gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead late in the first period.

“I think the girl tripped me and then I fell,” recalled Harrison with a chuckle.

“Eibhleann got the puck and scored that and it was a really cool goal.”

Her second assist proved to be a cool moment as Harrison fed the puck to fellow sophomore and club teammate Emily McCann.

“We have been friends for a while, we played on the same team three years ago when I first started playing girls’ hockey,” said Harrison, who plays club hockey with the Princeton Tiger Lilies. more

By Bill Alden

It was Ewanchyna day for the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team as it hosted St. Augustine last Wednesday.

With 8:19 left in the first period, PDS freshman forward Wyatt Ewanchyna scored to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

St. Augustine tallied two unanswered goals to take a 2-1 lead into the second period and minutes into the frame, PDS junior forward Ace Ewanchyna, Wyatt’s older brother, found the back of the net.

That turned out to be the final score of the contest as the foes skated to a 2-2 tie.

“It is pretty cool seeing my little brother go out there and score points here in high school,” said Ace Ewanchyna. “I guess it shows I am a good influence.”

Ewanchyna is enjoying getting the chance to team up with his younger brother for the Panthers.

“It has been a ton of fun, I have done it a couple of times in the past,” said Ewanchyna.

“The last time we played together a ton was squirts. It has been cool to see him out there. Hopefully, he is learning a little from me.”

On his second period goal, Ewanchyna was in the right place at the right time.

“It was a good pass from my teammates, I didn’t do too much,” said Ewanchyna.

“I was really looking for a rebound, I was more confident in my teammate Ollie [Hall] scoring than I was myself. It is mostly my teammates, I can’t really give myself credit.” more

SHARPSHOOTER: Hun School boys’ basketball player Dan Vessey goes up for the shot in recent action. Last weekend, senior guard Vessey starred as Hun took fifth place at the Peddie School Invitational Tournament (PSIT). On Saturday, he scored 19 points to help the Raiders defeat Lawrenceville 72-59 in a consolation round contest. A day later, he again scored 19 points as Hun defeated Peddie 76-68 in the PSIT fifth place game. The Raiders, now 4-4, host Academy of New Church (Pa.) on December 16 and then play Hudson Catholic on December 18 in the Hoop Group Tournament at Elizabeth. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After falling 64-58 to the Phelps School (Pa.) in the opening round of the Peddie School Invitational Tournament (PSIT) last Friday, Dan Vessey and his teammates on the Hun School boys’ basketball team were determined to bounce back when they faced Lawrenceville in the consolation round.

“It is important after a tough loss to come back and get a win, especially this early in the season,” said Hun senior guard Vessey.

With Vessey tallying 19 points, Hun pulled away to a 72-59 win over the Big Red last Saturday.

“Beating Lawrenceville is a good win, we love it,” said Vessey.

“Lawrenceville is a good team, they always have been. Doug Davis (former Hun and Princeton University star) is their coach and that Lawrenceville team is much better than the Lawrenceville team we played two years ago. They have made a lot of steps in the right direction, we will play them again.” more

December 8, 2021

RALLY TIME: Princeton University men’s basketball player Tosan Evbuomwan, right, goes after the ball in recent action. Last Sunday, junior forward Evbuomwan scored a career-high 27 points to help Princeton rally for an 81-79 overtime win against visiting Drexel. The Tigers trailed by six points in the last minute of regulation and by six points early in the overtime before pulling out the win over the Dragons. Princeton, who improved to 6-3 with the victory, plays at Lafayette on December 11 before hosting UMBC on December 13. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Twice it looked like the Princeton University men’s basketball team had lost the game as it hosted Drexel last Saturday afternoon.

With 42 seconds left in regulation, Princeton trailed 71-66 but reeled off five straight points on a pair of free throws by Jaelin Llewellyn and a dramatic three-pointer by Ryan Langborg to knot the game at 71-71 and force overtime.

In the extra session, the Tigers were trailing 77-71 with 3:29 left but once again battled back, outscoring the Dragons 10-2 down the stretch. Tosan Evbuomwan hit a pair of clutch free throws and the winning bucket as Princeton pulled out an improbable 81-79 victory before a frenzied crowd of 1,312 at Jadwin Gym.

“That is an incredible win for us; I hate saying it, we weren’t deserving for parts of the game,” said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson, whose team improved to 6-3.

 more

DREAM SEASON: Princeton High girls’ soccer star Sophia Lis displays her skills in a game this fall. Senior striker Lis made history in her final PHS campaign, scoring 38 goals, giving her the second highest single-season total in CVC history behind the 65 scored by Steinert’s Lisa Gmitter in 1982. The heroics of Lehigh-bound Lis helped Princeton go 21-3 and advance to the state Group 3 final for the first time in program history. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Sophia Lis didn’t want her final season on the Princeton High girls’ soccer team to end.

“I want to stay on this team for as long as possible,” said senior star striker and Lehigh-bound Lis. “It has been so great, it has been such a fun year.”

A great team chemistry helped make the team so fun. “We have really been working in practices a lot,” said Lis.

“I feel like we have the chemistry off the field, that is really showing on the field. We have done so many dinners. Everyone is such great friends, we all want each other to score.”

While PHS boasted good scoring balance, Lis emerged at the go-to finisher for the team, tallying 11 goals and six assists in the first seven games of the seasons as the Tigers got off to a 7-0 start.

“I am definitely trying to work on my shot accuracy but also with me getting more shots, I want to make sure that my team does the same,” said Lis.

“We work well as a unit to make sure to get the final product no matter what.”

Lis kept burying shots as PHS worked really well as a unit, going 13-1 in regular season play and then advancing to the Mercer County Tournament semifinals where it fell for a second time to rival Hopewell Valley.

Moving on to the state tournament, Lis took her game to new heights, tallying two goals in a 6-0 win over WW/P-North in the opening round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey Group 3 sectional. In the quarterfinals, she tallied the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Robbinsville and then got two goals in a 3-1 win over Colts Neck in the semis. In round three with HoVal in the sectional final, Lis tallied both goals in a sweet 2-0 triumph. more

STEADY HAHN: Hun School girls’ basketball player Kiera Hahn dribbles the ball last weekend at the Peddie School Invitational Tournament. Senior guard Hahn helped Hun go 1-2 at the event as the Raiders took fourth place. In upcoming action, Hun, now 2-2, plays at Agnes Irwin (Pa.) on December 10 and at Germantown Friends (Pa.) on December 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

With the Hun School girls’ basketball team adding some talented newcomers to a group of solid returners, it wouldn’t be surprising if it took a while for the squad to develop into a cohesive unit.

Instead, the group has come together in a matter of weeks. “Their personalities are great, they are just a lot of fun to be around,” said Hun head coach Bill Holup, who led Hun to a 5-3 record last winter in a campaign abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns.

“It makes it a lot better when everybody is happy, having fun, competing and learning.”

Last weekend, Hun competed hard at the Peddie School Invitational Tournament, topping St. James (Md.) 66-15 on Friday before losing 68-32 to Séminaire Saint-François (Quebec) on Saturday and falling 63-51 to Pennington on Sunday to take fourth place at the event.

Holup is happy to have post-graduate point guard Erin Maguire join the squad this year, the third sister from the Irish clan to play for the program.

“They are a great family and we are very excited to continue our relationship with the family,” said Holup of Maguire, who scored 21 points and had nine rebounds in the loss to Pennington.

“She can penetrate, she handles the ball. She is extremely unselfish, she will be able to shoot from the perimeter. She has quick hands and quick feet. She is a great leader.” more

CHASING SUCCESS: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Lauren Chase, right, goes after the puck in a game last season. Junior defenseman Chase will be spearheading things along the blue line for the Panthers this winter. Chase picked up an assist as PDS defeated Randolph 4-2 in its season opener last Wednesday. The Panthers host Westfield on December 8 before playing at Oak Knoll on December 14. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton Day School girls’ hockey team doesn’t boast a big group of veteran performers, it is still bringing plenty of optimism into the 2021-22 season.

“Our numbers are really strong this year, there continues to be a positive vibe around the team to join the program,” said PDS head coach John Ritchie, who guided PDS to a 5-0-1 record last winter in a season abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns.

“We are definitely a younger team but they definitely all have high expectations for themselves.”

Ritchie has high hopes for junior goalie Abigail Ashman, who is assuming the starting role after the graduation of star net minder Jillian Wexler.

“Abby is going to take over for Jillian,” said Ritchie, noting that freshman Grace Ulrich will serve as a backup.

“Not having Jillian is a huge loss for us but Abby is up to the task. Abby is probably going play 70-80 percent of the games this year. Grace is interesting because she is a good goalie but she is a very good player too. She is going to be doing a little bit of double duty for us.”

Along the blue line, defensemen junior Lauren Chase, sophomore Isabel Cook, and senior Natalie Celso will lead the way. more

EMERGING FORCE: Wilberforce School girls’ cross country runner Gwen Mersereau displays her form in a race this year. Freshman Mersereau emerged as the leader of the pack for Wilberforce this fall. She placed fourth individually in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Girls’ Non-Public B Group championship meet to help Wilberforce win the team title, the first in program history. She went on to take 94th in the Meet of Champions as the Wolverines took 18th in the team standings. (Photo provided by Lois Szeliga)

By Bill Alden

While the Wilberforce School only has about 80 students in its upper school, five stellar runners on its girls’ cross country team were able to make some big noise this fall.

After finishing sixth in the team standings at the Mercer County Championship meet in late October at Washington Crossing Park and then placing first at Bob Kiessling Invitational in Logan Township, the girls’ squad made school history by winning the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public B Group championship meet on November 13. The Wolverines went on to place 18th at the Meet of Champions a week later.

Wilberforce head coach Lois Szeliga sensed that her squad was on track for a big fall after its performance at the county meet as it held its own against some much larger schools.

“When you have one through five within two minutes of each other and that is what we had been doing, you really have a chance at winning these bigger meets,” said Szeliga.

“We have been finishing 1:30 apart. In the Group meet, it was around 2:01. That is really what you need.”

At the Group meet, freshman Gwen Mersereau led the way for the Wolverines, taking fourth individually, covering the 5,000-meter course at Holmdel Park in a time of 21:09. Classmate Adeline Edwards was right behind her in fifth with a time of 21:11. Junior Sophia Park took eighth in 21:35 while senior Annie Whitman came in 11th in 22:23 and senior Laura Prothero finished 18th in 23:10. In the team standings, Wilberforce had a winning score of 45, just six points better than runner-up and perennial power Villa Walsh. more

December 1, 2021

MAKING A SPLASH: Princeton University men’s water polo player Roko Pozaric fires the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, freshman star Pozaric scored four goals to help 19th-ranked Princeton defeat No. 16 Fordham 17-8 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. The Tigers, now 26-7, will face No. UCLA on December 2 in Los Angeles in the second opening-round game of the tournament with the victor advancing to the semis on December 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

The Princeton University men’s water polo team had some options when it set up its schedule this year.

The Tigers could have looked at their less experienced roster after a year off from competition and scheduled to build momentum against East Coast teams. Instead, they challenged themselves from the get-go against a parade of talented West Coast squads and the resulting reward is a trip to the second opening-round game of the NCAA tournament.

“To me, it was worth the risk,” said Princeton head coach Dustin Litvak.

“Otherwise we’d end up playing the same teams we always play every weekend. If that was going to be the reality, it was almost going to be better that we’d end up just practicing. If we ended up getting a ‘no’ on our two California trips, I was fine with just practicing through those weekends. Thankfully it worked out and we were able to go out there and play a lot of great teams at a lot of great pools.”

Last Saturday, things worked out very well for the Tigers as 10th-ranked Princeton pulled away from 16th-ranked Fordham for a 17-8 win in the first opening-round game of the NCAAs. It is the program’s first NCAA win since 2011. The Tigers will play at No. 1 UCLA in the second opening-round game of the NCAA tournament Thursday.

“We want to compete and we want to play with confidence,” said Litvak. “If we do that, we give ourselves a chance.” more

TRIPLE THREAT: Princeton University men’s basketball player Tosan Evboumwan dribbles to the hoop in a game earlier this season. Last Sunday, junior forward Evboumwan scored a career-high 19 points and added eight rebounds and five assists as Princeton defeated Fairleigh Dickinson 89-79. The Tigers, now 5-2, play at Hofstra on December 1 before hosting Drexel on December 4 and Bucknell on December 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tosan Evboumwan was sidelined when the Princeton University men’s basketball team played at Monmouth last Wednesday, and he was missed.

Princeton built a 46-39 halftime lead against the Hawks but faltered down the stretch, falling 76-64, lacking the inside presence and playmaking ability that the 6’9, 215-pound junior forward Evboumwan brings to the table.

Last Sunday,  Evboumwan, a native of Newcastle, England, returned to the lineup as the Tigers hosted Fairleigh Dickinson University and he certainly made a difference. Evboumwan tallied a career-high 19 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists as Princeton topped FDU 89-79.

“It is great to be back and playing with my teammates,” said Evboumwan.

“We got a win after the loss to Monmouth. It was tough to watch and not be out there. I am glad to be back.”

Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson was certainly glad to see Evboumwan back in action. more

SHOOTING STAR: Princeton University women’s basketball player Abby Meyers puts up a shot in a game earlier this season. Last Sunday, senior guard Meyers scored a game-high 21 points to help Princeton defeat Maine 82-43. The Tigers, now 5-1, play at No. 22 Florida Gulf Coast on December 1 and at Fordham on December 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Abby Meyers knows that she has to be a go-to offensive player for the Princeton University women’s basketball team this winter.

After playing a supporting role to such stars as Bella Alarie and Carlie Littlefield in the past, it is time for Meyers to carry more of the scoring load.

“As a senior, I have gotten a lot of trust from my coaches and teammates, which I really value and appreciate,” said Meyers, who averaged 9.4 points a game in the 2017-18 and 6.3 points in 2019-20.

“I almost have the green light and that is something that not many people are lucky enough to have. I am working really hard on my game. My teammates are looking for me. In the end, we need the scorers to score. I really want to try and internalize that role, being a good scorer for our team. We need it.”

Last Sunday against visiting Maine, Meyers displayed her offensive game, tallying a game-high 21 points as the Tigers pulled away to an 82-43 win in improving to 5-1.

“Getting 100 shots a day is really key to keeping your shot good,” said Meyers, a 6’0 native of Potomac, Md., who is now averaging a team-best 17.7 points a game this season.

“It is just having fun with and not overthinking it. I think a lot of our players in the beginning started to overthink stuff because there is a year off. They pictured a lot of things, like I am going to do this, this, and this. It is just going in with no expectations and having a short term memory and playing the best that you can.” more