PRINCETON — The Princeton Senior High School boys basketball team has faced a tough stretch of games lately but they are remaining confident.

On this current stretch of games, the Tigers have played against some great teams. They faced Bluefield and Graham high schools and after Saturday’s game against Greenbrier East, they will come up against a six game home schedule that will see them take on cross town rivals Pike View as well as teams from Virginia. So far, the Tigers sit at 8-4 on the season and despite some tough competition Robb Williams believes the team can stay confident through it all.

After defeating Bluefield earlier at the Holiday Tournament, the Beavers were able to bounce back and get the best of the Tigers. The Beavers started out fast during the first half using pressure on the Tigers and forcing 10 turnovers in a game that was capped by Bluefield’s Braeden Crews hitting his 1,000-career point, and garnering 32 total points for the game. A lapse in defense in the third quarter sparked some runs for the Beavers that they would carry out the rest of the game. Williams feels like the team still has some issues that need to be fixed, but feels like it’s nothing Princeton isn’t capable of getting better at.

“We felt like we have played well defensively recently but offensively its been a different story,” Williams said. “We have to pick up our execution on that end. We have to get that fixed but we feel like we’ll be okay if we do that.”

After the defeat against the Beavers, the Tigers headed to Virginia to face the G-Men of Graham High School. Unfortunately, the loss didn’t fire the Tigers up as much as Coach Williams might have liked, and turnovers again were a problem on the road against the G-men last Saturday with the Tigers falling again 51-58 at Graham Middle School. The G-Men forced seven Tiger turnovers in the first quarter and scored seven straight for an 18-11 advantage to the G-Men. Going into halftime the Tigers were down 19-32.

However, the momentum shifted for the second half and the Tigers came out of the locker room roaring, closing the gap by the final period to 32-45 and forcing Graham to five consecutive possession turnovers including two steals by Peyton Brown and Ethan Parsons.

Brayden Quesenberry of Princeton created Graham’s 17th and final turnover of the game with a steal, and fed the ball to Parsons for a layup that brought the Tigers within one possession of a tie, 51-48, with 1:39 left. Unfortunately, that was as close as it got as Graham responded with back-to-back baskets and even a final three-pointer by Peyton Brown wasn’t enough to take the lead.

Over the last few games Williams has mentioned he has been impressed with everyone’s effort on the team. He is looking forward to the Tigers continuing to get better down the stretch. With as hot of a start Princeton got off to to start the season the goal is to finish the season the same way.

The Tigers will stay on the road for Saturday’s game against Greenbrier East before heading home for a 6 game streak.

Niqko Marshall is a freelance reporter for the Princeton Times. You can reach him at ndmarshall90@gmail.com

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