Staples girls basketball players leave their mark on the court and downtown

WESTPORT — Though they continue to make their mark with their playing on the court, the Staples High School girls basketball teams made a different kind of mark downtown Friday afternoon.

The Main Street storefront window of Cold Fusion — a new specialty gelato and sorbet store opening this spring in the old Papyrus space — was the canvass for a creative gathering.

“I like how it’s a way for us to come together,” said Scarlett Siegel, 16, a sophomore. “It’s a really good bonding exercise.”

Siegel was among the 22 players from both the varsity and junior varsity teams who took markers in hand to do some window decorating in celebration of their squads, and to enjoy some fun, artistic together time off the court.

“We’re a basketball team, so we don’t get to do creative things like this,” she added.

Having been ranked the top team in the state last year, the Wreckers would also like to get more community engagement and recognition in general.

“We don’t get a lot of hype,” said co-captain Marley Lopez-Paul, 17, urging Westporters to get onboard with the team. “If we can get a little more support from the town, we can go a long way.”

They said it goes beyond their team.

“Girls sports in general need a stronger voice,” said Kelly Emmert, of Westport, who owns Cold Fusion with her husband, Eric, and is a proud Wrecker parent.

“We want to see our window give them that bigger voice,” she said.

The teammates appreciated the platform, as well as a chance to spend time together outside of school, which has been hard to do this past year.

“I think it’s so much fun,” said co-captain Nicole Holmes, 18. “With COVID, we can’t bond as much, especially with both teams: JV and varsity.”