One of the most successful coaching tandems at Peddie, Sean Casey and assistant Eric “Gus” Gustavson guided the 2000–2001 Peddie Girls’ Basketball Team to one of the best win-loss records in the program’s history at 23–2. The list of accomplishments is impressive. The team reeled off 13 straight wins to start the season and cruised to the Mid-Atlantic Prep League and NJISAA Prep A titles. In the first-ever Mercer County Challenge, the Falcons defeated West Windsor-Plainsboro South, a Central Jersey Group IV finalist, 54–44. The Peddie defense allowed only 35 points a game, and most teams were helpless in slowing down the flying Falcons’ fastbreak offense. Facing the toughest schedule in their history, Peddie posted big road wins over traditional New Jersey stalwarts, Bishop Eustace, Gloucester Catholic, Haddonfield, Toms River North and East Brunswick. Its only setbacks came to parochial power St. John Vianney and nationally-ranked Germantown Academy.
The Falcons had waves of talent and dominated the post-season All-Prep teams. Christina Campion ’03, Jenna Graber ’02 and Yvette Rutherford ’01 claimed first-team berths. Campion earned Prep School Player of the Year honors and spearheaded the offense with 448 points for a team-high 17.9 average. She was also the Falcons’ rebounding leader and with her size and mobility in the post, became a match-up nightmare for any defense. From the perimeter, Graber kept defenses spread out with her uncanny consistency from 3-point land. She averaged 14.4 points a game, with almost half of her offensive production coming from behind the arc as she drained 56 shots from long distance. Rutherford provided additional rebounding and scoring punch to the Peddie attack as the post-grad forward from England returned from an early-season injury to average nearly 10 points a game. Casey made it a clean sweep of individual accolades earning Coach of the Year recognition.
And the Big Three had plenty of versatile reinforcements ready to neutralize the opposition. Whitney Douthett ’03, a tenacious defender, averaged 7.2 points a game and racked up six double-digit performances. Christine Salinas ’01 netted 120 points and picked up the scoring slack with a 13-point effort against Haddonfield. Captain Sera Hamilton ’02 garnered respect for her dogged competitiveness and selfless dedication to the team. No wonder Hamilton was named the recipient of the Coach’s Award for best exemplifying sportsmanship, good citizenship and loyalty.
Four-year letter winners Kaitlyn McHugh ’01 and Lauren Zecca ’01, along with Laura Giusto ’03, Brittany Hammer ’03, Maria Nichols ’02 and Carolyn Morin ’01 added 207 points to the mix. Special recognition goes to manager Randolph Vesprey ’03 for taking care of the behind-the-scenes organizational tasks.
On February 21, 2001, in the Falcons’ win over Montclair Kimberley Academy in the Prep final, Graber reached the 1,000-point plateau with 2:24 left in the first quarter. “My teammates didn’t say anything about it, but they were looking to set me up,” she said.
The 2000–2001 Girls’ Basketball Team represented the best in the game, for they knew how to play and work the hardest to achieve success on the court.
- Christina Campion ’03
- Whitney Douthett ’03
- Laura Giusto ’03
- Jenna Graber ’02
- Seraphine Hamilton ’02
- Brittany Hammer ’03
- Kaitlyn McHugh ’01
- Carolyn Morin ’01
- Maria Nichols ’02
- Yvette Rutherford ’01
- Christine Salinas ’01
- Lauren Zecca ’01
- Randolph Vesprey ’03, Manager