The students at Mica Area High School don't understand or like Stargirl when she first shows up. They absolutely love her, though, when her quirky cheering style brings in a thousand people to watch one of the school's football games. She does wonders for school spirit and finally begins to be accepted among classmates. Sadly, by basketball season, all of that falls apart because she sympathizes with one of an opposing team's players. During Sun Valley vs Mica, a boy by the name of Kovac breaks his leg during the game and Stargirl rushes to his side and cradles his head. Leo notices the odd behavior, as many students may have as well, but nothing comes of it until the next game with Glendale. The Mica students seem crushed as they are losing the game by thirty points, but Stargirl isn't as upset as everyone else in the crowd. As Mica students are crying for their impending loss, Stargirl cheers for the other team's lead and eventual win. As a result, someone throws a tomato in her face.
Soon after that, as Leo and Stargirl start to date, they slowly notice that no one else is paying attention to them at school. Leo asks Kevin what is going on and he tells him it's the silent treatment. Kevin explains that the problem started with "The basketball stuff" (98). Sadly, the students aren't easily swayed to forgive and forget as Leo explains:
"For the rest of the day, and the next and the next, I grew increasingly paranoid. Walking with her in and around the school, I was intensely aware that the nature of our aloneness had changed. It was no longer a cozy, tunnel-of-love sweetness, but a chilling isolation" (99).