The White of Snow Doesn’t Stand Up to the Scarlet of East

East girls basketball players join cheerleaders in leading students and fans at a pep rally before the State Tournament.

So it snowed on the way to school this morning and it was snowing again by the time school let out this afternoon. Plus, the word is out that Dowling Catholic – East’s first-round opponent in the girls’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena – is calling on its fans to wear white to the game and create a whiteout effect in the stands.

But SCARLET, not white, was the loud and alive color in a rousing pep assembly at the East gym Tuesday and, if the enthusiasm is any indication, will carry the day in the reprisal of a matchup that East won when the same two teams met during the regular season. It was one of East’s 21 victories against only two defeats.

The occasion was used to acknowledge and celebrate all of the winter sports and activities including the bowling teams, wrestlers, swimmers, boys basketball, Special Olympics basketballers, the cheerleaders, dance squad and state speech qualifiers but the headliners and stars of the show were the girl hoopsters, several of whom are holdovers from the state championship team of two seasons ago.

Juniors Roichelle Marble, Paige Larson, Shareece Burrell and Tal Neilly were wide-eyed frosh on that undefeated squad that sent four girls on to play Division I college basketball. Now this foursome of juniors is the nucleus of another powerhouse with designs on a title. (Or should that read Powell-house, as in Head Coach Sam Powell and soon-to-retire Activities Director Ric Powell, the assembly MC, who are related only in the sense that they both bleed Scarlet.) This bunch may be a year away or they may already be on the verge of forcing the administration to find space on the gym wall for a billboard-sized team photo to go alongside those of the 10-11 team and the 2011 state softball champs.

In a light-hearted warm-up for tomorrow’s 5:00 P.M. clash downtown the pep assembly featured a rigged three-point shooting contest between the team and some East faculty. Not surprisingly the students coasted to a 45-0 win but the lid that was literally on the teachers’ basket today won’t be on Dowling’s Wednesday night. The team’s defense will have to put the figurative clamps on.

Don’t be surprised if the white flag is waving on the Dowling side when the Clash of the Colors, Scarlets v. Maroons, is over.

Photos from East Scarlets Pep Rally

Published on