Trip to state nostalgic for Hall

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 13, 2000

Trinity Episcopal girls coach Melanie Hall has been there before. Now she’s going back, but in a different role.

Hall will be taking her Trinity girls basketball team to the state tournament this week at Delta Academy in Marks. The Lady Saints face Wayne Academy Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Trinity boys open play Tuesday against DeSoto after the Trinity girls game.

The last time a girls team from Trinity competed for in the state tournament was in 1980, when then Melanie Pintard was an all-star starting guard.

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&uot;I think it helps, the fact that I’ve been through it,&uot; Hall said. &uot;I’m thankful to God for that experience.&uot;

Actually, Hall went through it twice. As a sophomore, she was part of a team that won the state championship in 1978 in Batesville.

That Trinity team had three sophomores and two seniors.

&uot;West Panola was going for its third straight title and had a senior team and we had a little bit of talent but a whole lot of heart,&uot; Hall said. &uot;We ended up beating them, so those are the kinds of things I can share with this team.&uot;

Trinity’s girls seemed destined to win the state championship and possibly the overall title in 1980.

But in the state championship game against Brookhaven, guard Lynn Marchbanks fell awkwardly and injured her knee early in the first quarter and were defeated by the Lady Cougars 42-37.

Hall, obviously upset when her friend and teammate went down, scored 11 points in the loss.

The Lady Saints lost to Clarksdale-Lee in the first round of the Overall Tournament to finish 28-6. Hall had 16 points in that game.

&uot;I think going through something like that is also helpful in that I know to expect anything this time of year and can relate that to my girls,&uot; Hall said.

Hall had to think back to Marchbanks’ moment when Ashley Kingsafer twisted her ankle in the South State semifinals Friday.

Now she knows had to handle it.

Hall and Marchbanks ended up as co-Female Players of the Year.

Hall averaged 19 points a game.

Looking elsewhere, how big was Natchez’s win over Brookhaven Friday?

Very big with Forest Hill awaiting Tuesday in a first round Division 6-5A contest at Natchez High.

The Bulldogs must have all the confidence they can muster about having the home court advantage. A good crowd Tuesday and Friday will certainly add to that.

And finally, what a difference two weeks can make.

In late January, Ferriday High jumped on Vidalia 18-10 after one quarter of play on Vidalia’s home court. Ferriday went on to win 78-75.

Last Friday night in Ferriday, Vidalia led 9-6 after one period before going on to win 70-50.

It just goes to show you how the game of basketball can be so unpredictable.

One thing is for sure. It looked like the old days at Ferriday’s seventh-grade gym Friday with people almost hanging off the rafters to get a look at the Ferriday-Vidalia rivalry.

It’s just a shame that these two fine basketball programs are subjected to playing in crackerbox gyms.

When you have to stop the game to allow people from walk from one end of the court to the other, there’s a problem – as well as people having to stand up to watch a game.

Even if there was some way both schools could share a gym it would be a lot better.

The basketball programs certainly deserve better than what they now have.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at