Teams head for South State

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 9, 2009

NATCHEZ — When Melanie Hall came to Adams County Christian this year to coach the girls basketball team after nine years at Trinity Episcopal, she was walking into a program that was short on experience and even shorter on wins.

But in her first year, the Lady Rebels have improved enough to post a 13-10 overall record and record a 4-4 District 3-AA record, good enough for a No. 3 seed in the South State Tournament.

ACCS will play the No. 4 seed from District 5, Amite School Center in the first round at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Copiah Academy in Gallman.

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“It’s been a learning year for all of us,” Hall said of her first season leading the Lady Rebels. “We are learning from each other. The kids are getting better and having a good time.”

Hall said the team has improved greatly since the beginning of the season, and is coming on at just the right time.

“I think if you saw us play at the beginning of the year until now, we’re a totally different team right now,” Hall said. “That is what you want to work for. This is the time of year you want to be playing your best basketball.”

ACCS has already played Amite School Center twice this season, defeating them 64-33 in the ACCS Girls Tip-Off Tournament on Nov. 6 and 53-35 on Dec. 4.

However, Hall said the Lady Rebels will not be overlooking ASC in the South State Tournament.

“I think when you play a team over and over, you find out each others tendencies,” Hall said. “Of course, each night every game is a gift, and you’d better be ready every time the kids step out on the floor, because on any given night, anything can happen.”

ACCS isn’t the only local team beginning play either Monday or Tuesday night in the South State Tournament.

The Tensas Academy girls, the No. 2 seed from District 6-A, face off against District 5 No. 3 seed Central Hinds at 6:30 p.m. today in the Class A Tournament at Central Hinds Academy in Raymond.

The Huntington boys, the No. 2 seed in District 6, will get started in the boys Class A South State Tournament when they face off against District 5 No. 3 seed University Christian at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The top four teams in the 12-team tournament advance to the State Tournament next week, meaning ACCS, Tensas Academy and Huntington must win two games to advance to the State Tournament.

The Trinity Episcopal girls and boys teams both received first round byes in the Class AA South State Tournament, meaning they only need to win one game to finish in the top four and advance to the State Tournament.

The Class A State Tournament will be at University Christian School in Flowood while the Class AA State Tournament will be at Brookhaven Academy.

Both of those tournaments begin on Feb. 17.