East Rock Brings Title Home

Girl Hoop Stars Grab Second State Crown

Posted: March 9, 2013

LEFT TO RIGHT: East Rockingham High senior basketball player Meghan Nicholson; her grandfather, Frank Nicholson; and fellow senior Jessica Lam celebrate East Rock’s title on Friday. (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
East Rockingham High School girls basketball coach Paul Comer addresses fans during a rally at the school gym Friday night to celebrate the team’s Division 1 state championship.
East Rockingham High School junior guard Katie Dofflemyer (left) and sophomore guard Madison Comer celebrate back-to-back state championships at a rally on Friday.
ELKTON — Minutes before a troupe of champion basketball players made its way into the East Rockingham High School gym, the mother of one senior guard poised herself directly in front of the door, holding up her purple-cased phone, finger planted over the trigger.

“I’ve been emotional all day,” said Melissa Lam, noting that her daughter — senior guard Jessica Lam — is an only child and plans to leave for college come summer.

“It’s very sad,” she said, right before the team, just in its third year of existence, burst through the doors.

“Congratulations, girl,” Melissa Lam yelled as her phone’s camera — and about a dozen others — started to flash and click.

The ERHS Eagles squad secured its second Division 1 championship with a 35-31 win over Altavista at the Siegel Center in Richmond on Friday afternoon.

The win was bittersweet for Lam  and her fellow seniors, Sarah Cameron and Meghan Nicholson, who have been playing basketball together since they were 8.

While Nicholson plans to attend Concord University in Athens, W.Va., this fall, the others haven’t decided. But they’ll no doubt see each other less in the fall.

“We know each other like the back of our hand,” Nicholson explained.

Still, the excitement in the room was electric, and in many ways, the homecoming ceremony felt much like a family reunion.

“Today would’ve been a good day to rob a bank in Elkton,” joked Meghan Nicholson’s grandfather Frank, who was beaming after seeing his winner walk through the door.

Coach Paul Comer explained to the dozens in the gym — many of whom had also just returned from Richmond — about the support he feels whenever the team walks onto the court.

“When I hear that roar and feel that crowd behind us, I think there’s no way we can lose a lot of nights,” he said, also touching on the feat the girls have accomplished.

“There are schools that have been here hundreds of years that have never been able to experience what these girls have experienced twice now,” he said.

ERHS Athletic Director Eric Phillips explained it to the team this way: “Very, very few will be able to sit in that break room [at your future jobs] and hoist up two hands with two big rings on them, and say, ‘This is what I did in high school.’”

Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or csipos@dnronline.com

NDN Video News