PRINCETON: Young PHS hoops team will grow with experience

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
The Princeton High boys’ basketball roster is deeper this year than it has been in a number of years.
But what the Little Tigers have in numbers, they lack in experience. The Princeton lineup will feature a number of newcomers this season as the team looks to improve on last year’s 12-14 record.
“We lost nine seniors, so there is not as much returning as we might like,” said second-year head coach Patrick Noone. “We’re a young team that works hard and we’ll have to pick things up as we go. I’m excited about the potential. The only problem is the youth. But with the youth comes enthusiasm. We’re just going to have to be patient with them and know we’re going to make some mistakes.”
Seniors Tommy Doran and Sam Tartar are back at the guard positions. The other seniors on the roster are Charles An, Michael Frost, John Girouard, Yannick Ibrahim and Will Poston.
The junior class includes Ben Amon, Ev Filion, Jaylen Johnson, Jack McMahon, Brendan Rougas and Isaac Webb. The sophomores are Jay Jackson, Amon Jakisa, Riley McMahon.
“This is a fun group to coach,” Noone said. “Tommy Doran took a giant step forward from last year to this year. Jaylen Johnson is really starting to come into his own. Jay Jackson, Riley McMahon and Brendan Rougas are all looking stronger. We have a nice core of players that I think will develop and be successful.”
The team has a pair of senior starters in Doran and Tartar. The rest of the starting lineup could be young and will have to grow as it gains experience.
“We might start three sophomores,” Noone said. “We’re going to be young and we’ll probably take some lumps early on as we develop. This is year two of the program and we can see the difference from last year to this year. Things are going in the right direction.”
Princeton will open the season tonight at home against Lawrence. Outside of the Colonial Valley Conference, the Little Tigers will play in the Montgomery Holiday Tournament, where they will face Medford Tech and Montgomery. There are also games with Morristown, Princeton Day School, St. John Vianney and Wall.
“The CVC is tough and we have some tough games outside of the league,” Noone said. “I’m excited to see what these guys can do. It’s a great group of kids to be around and they have been working hard. They have a lot of energy and are really willing to learn.”