SCRANTON – If a little extra buzz was detectable in the hallways of Scranton Prep High School Friday, there was no need to look any further than the girls basketball team.
Each time the girls saw each other during the school day, they could not help but let out a yell.
“We’ve been waiting a really long time for this and I think we’re just really happy it’s finally here,” two-time, third-team Class 4A all-state selection Rachael Rose said.
The Classics had even more reason to be excited when the first game was over.
Rose and her teammates put together a remarkable performance for an Opening Night, turning an anticipated battle of ranked teams into a blowout before coasting home with a 49-22 victory over visiting Berwick.
The junior guard scored 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting in the first 9:35. She finished with 20 points, 5 steals and 4 assists, sitting down for good before the end of the third quarter after doing her share to help the Classics build a lead that grew as high as 46-8 three minutes into the fourth quarter.
“We always looked ahead,” said Rose, whose steals helped fuel the Scranton Prep running game. “We got out in transition and we were able to score easy baskets.”
For her effort, Rose is the first PNC District 2 Girls Basketball Player of the Week. It is the third straight season in which she has received the award. The award is announced each Monday on the John Bucci Show, which airs on NEPA’s ESPN Radio and is simulcast as well as offered on demand through NEPABasketball.com.
“I think she has improved the defensive part of her game,” Scranton Prep coach Bob Beviglia said. “She’s bigger and stronger and she has worked hard at that.
“And, on offense, I think she sees the floor better than she did two years ago.”
With Rose, a two-time NEPABasketball.com, all-District 2 selection, leading the way, Scranton Prep was the top-ranked Big School girls team in the Astra Wealth Advisors Super Six Power Rankings every week of last season. It is the same spot they are in to begin this season.
The Classics went undefeated in the Lackawanna League in 2018-19 while repeating their Division 1 title and also repeated as District 2 Class 4A champion. The season, however, came to an abrupt end in the first round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament.
“Obviously, we didn’t like the way last year ended,” Rose said after shooting 7-for-10, including 4-for-6 on 3-pointers, and making both her free throws against Berwick. “I think that that kind of got in our minds. We don’t want that to happen. We want to go out and get as far as possible.
“It all starts tonight.”
Rose played a large role in making sure it was quite a start.
Rachael is the daughter of Tim and Kathy Rose of Scranton.