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Lady Rebels halfway to season goal

NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian girls basketball coach Melanie Hall has a simple goal for her team this season — just keep getting better.

“Ultimately our biggest goal is being the best basketball team we can be this year and doing everything we can to help us get there,” Hall said. “When it’s all said and done we want to have no regrets and say we gave ourselves every opportunity to be the best.”

And through the halfway point, the team seems to be accomplishing that. The Lady Rebels sit at 12-3 as they get ready to hit district play hard and defend their District 5-AA championship.

“When you’re the defending district champs, you have a huge bulls eye on your back,” Hall said. “I told the girls every time you step on the floor, you have to be ready to play. Basketball is so mental, you have to focus all the time.”

The Lady Rebels are a young team, but also a talented team that has plenty of good chemistry, which is vital to their success, Hall said.

“Chemistry is vital, and you have to have that unity,” Hall said. “You can have all the talent in the world, but if you’re not together, it’s not a pretty thing. These girls know the things it takes to have a good team and are willing to work at it to do that.”

Hall said the experience of seniors Kaitlan Melton, Taylor Welch, Kristyn Arnold and Shelby Guice has helped the team, especially Melton, Welch and Arnold, who made it through a period of turbulence a few years ago before Hall was hired.

“The seniors had been through difference coaches before I got there,” Hall said. “We’re fortunate the underclassmen didn’t have to go through what the seniors had to go through with all the changes. With their having to persevere and overcome through things, it has helped a lot. Everybody is on the same page and know what is supposed to be happening.”

The team is also playing with a purpose, having dedicated the season assistant coach Dee Ray’s husband Mike, who is battling cancer.

“The girls have dedicated their season to him and they refuse to go down,” Hall said. “They have bought in, and when you use the talents God gives you to the best of your abilities, good things happen. At the end of the season you look back and hopefully the Lord can look at you and say, ‘Job well done.’”