PRINCETON — Forget about the team’s youth. Forget about first-game jitters.

The Princeton Tigerettes launched their 2005-06 season Saturday afternoon at the PSHS gym with defensive brilliance and clean execution, taking a 75-70 victory over the Big Reds of Parkersburg High School.

Princeton head coach Debbie Ball was asked if her young team had any jitters taking on a tall conference foe.

“No, they’re too young to have first-game jitters,” she said. “Our kids, I guess, were rarin’ to go tonight.”

Senior point guard Amanda Meade was in charge on the floor, finishing as the game’s top scorer with 18 points. After the game, she spread the accolades around.

“We wanted it. We earned it. We played very good. ... My teammates picked it up a lot tonight. We had good passes from everybody. Down low, they contributed very well,” Meade said.

The Princeton defense contributed to five Big Red turnovers in the first quarter, helping the Tigerettes to a 17-11 start.

Ball said, “I always stress the key about playing defense. I guess they just wanted it. ... I think we really surprised them with the 3-2, because they’ve always had outside shooters.”

Five PSHS players scored the first five Princeton goals. To end the first quarter, the Princeton squad initiated a 9-0 splurge and took a 22-12 lead.

Amelia Hammell scored three straight Parkersburg baskets to cut into the PSHS advantage, but buckets by Meade, Tiffany Carruthers and Cassie Staten at the end of the half restored the 10-point spread.

Hammell hit a trey to cap off a 9-3 Big Red run early in the final quarter, trimming the deficit to 49-48. Princeton’s defense and rebounders dug in, and the Tigerettes scored eight of the game’s last 10 points.

Meade said, “Our defense was very good. Laura Whitt reads passes very well; she picked up a lot of big steals for us. Lorey Spade did a good job, too. She got some steals. ... Everybody contributed.”

Talking about Staten’s two late field goals, Meade said, “That helped our team out a lot. She hit some big shots for us.”

Parkersburg coach Don Stansberry said, “Every time that we pulled close, they pulled something out. Their guards played well. It seemed like they had at least four people who could handle the ball pretty well (so) you couldn’t press them.”

The Big Reds were 5-for-11 at the foul line. Stansberry said, “That killed us. Right there, that’s a huge difference.” Hammell led the Big Reds in scoring with 15 points.

Princeton’s next contest is at home against Woodrow Wilson High School on Monday evening.

At Princeton Senior High School

Parkersburg (0-2)

Kim Dent 2 2-3 6, Amelia Hammell 4+2 1-4 15, Laura Rasel 2 0-0 4, Jessie Boggs 3 2-2 11, Kacie Rader 1 0-2 2, Alyssa Rhodes 5 0-0 12. Totals 19 5-11 50.

Princeton (1-0)

Lauren Broyles 2 0-0 4, Kelly Pawlowski 2 1-2 5, Amanda Meade 5+2 2-3 18, Laura Whitt 1 0-0 2, Lorey Spade 2 0-2 6, Tiffany Carruthers 1 0-0 2, Cassie Staten 7 0-2 14, Megan Graham 3 0-0 6. Totals 25 3-9 57.

Parkersburg.......................11 14 12 13 — 50

Princeton............................17 18 7 15 — 57

3-point goals—Parkersburg 7 (Hammell 2, Boggs 3, Rhoades 2). Princeton 4 (Meade 2, Spade 2). JV game—Princeton won 62-36.

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