By Jill Richardson
Kuna Melba News
Melba varsity girls’ basketball team will be competing in the State tournament at Bishop Kelly starting on Thursday.
After a long journey at District Tournaments, Melba finished third.
The journey began last Tuesday with a home game against Nampa Christian.
Melba won with a score of 39 to 38 in an edge of your seat performance in the fourth quarter.
They ended the game at half time ten points down.
“Nampa Christian came ready to play and they were after us, it was a gut check in the second half,” said Melba Coach Darrin Shindle.
In the locker room at half time Shindle said to the girls, “The game could be over if we wanted it to be or we could show some heart and that is what we did.”
With seconds remaining to play and Melba ahead by one, Sierra Manzer, Melba, lost her footing on the court and the ball.
Nampa Christian took off for the hoop, but was unable to get the shot in to win the game.
Dani Romans led the game in points with 14, Sierra Manzer followed with 12 and Kara Leavitt with 6.
The Nampa Christian win took them on to game eight against highly favored Cole Valley at Vallivue High School last Thursday.
Again Melba won in a narrow victory and heart stopping last few minutes of the game.
Final score was 39 to 36.
Kara Leavitt led in points with 13, followed by Dani Romans with 11 and Sierra Manzer with 7.
That win placed them at third in the district and sent them to the Play-in game in Grangeville to play against Coeur d’Alene Charter School on Saturday.
For the first time this season, Melba won their third game in a row that night with a score of 43 to 36.
That secured Melba’s place at the State Tournament against Ririe High School Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. at Bishop Kelly High School.
Sierra Manzer finished the game with 13 points, 3 assists and 5 steals; Nicole Hoagland had 9 points and 4 rebounds; Anysja Manzer had 6 points and 3 rebounds; Randee Schlapia had 4 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists; Dani Romans had 4 points, 4 rebounds and 6 steals; Kara Leavitt had 2 points and 7 rebounds; Bailey Helm had 2 points and 3 rebounds; Suzi Stirm had 2 points and 2 rebounds; and Ashli Hunter had 1 point.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the girls for what they did this last week,” said Shindle. “After a tough loss to Marsing in the district semis, we talked about the week ahead and how we were going to handle it. It would have been easy for those girls to call it a year and give up after that loss and being down by 10 to Nampa Christian in the next game at the half. But they really found something inside themselves and showed a lot of grit coming back and winning that game, then knocking off the #2 team in Cole Valley, and finally traveling to Grangeville and securing a trip to state. It’s the first time all year that we have won 3 games in a row. That shows a lot about what kind of girls they are.”