Souhegan alum still playing ball

Why don’t we catch up with Courtney Banghart, who you might remember from her days as a do-everything athlete at Souhegan High School.

Well, when last we saw her in a Sabers’ uniform, she had led her school to its second consecutive Class I girls’ basketball title by scoring 31 points in the final, including five three-pointers, and topped 1,000 points for her career.

She had a fine career at Dartmouth and now … And now:

Last week, Banghart led the Princeton University women’s basketball team, the Tigers, to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament round of 32 only to see them knocked out by top-seeded Maryland. There was certainly no shame in losing to the nation’s top team and at least for the first half, Banghart’s Tigers played a whale of a game.

Before the game, the Souhegan alum told reporters that the game was important not only for her team, but for the Ivy League. She wanted Princeton to win, she said, so that the rest of the nation would realize the Ivy League played some good basketball.

That’s true, certainly, but even in women’s basketball, the team that recruits the best will most often win and it’s more difficult to recruit to Ivy League schools because you actually have to be a serious student. That’s more noticeable in men’s basketball, of course. Witness Kentucky.

In advancing to the round of 32, Princeton beat the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in a game watched by President Obama. Well, no, he’s not such a huge women’s basketball fan, but his niece by marriage plays for Princeton, so there he was and that, like the victory, is something the Tiger players will remember years from now.

Well, Banghart now can start thinking about next year, knowing that she and her team got Princeton its first win in the NCAA tournament and that’s an accomplishment for sure.