Back at school in January, Troy can't believe his eyes when Gabriella walks into class. Her family has transferred to New Mexico, and is now a student at East High, where Troy is the star of the basketball team. They become close friends and Gabriella, who is a science wiz, convinces Troy to audition with her for the school musical.
However, when Troy's teammates discover what he's been doing in his spare time, they worry that his extracurricular activity as a performer will diminish his basketball prowess, possibly costing them the championship. They get together to try to split up Gabriella and Troy.