RANDLEMAN — Throughout the course of a high school sports season, many grandparents and parents build a scrapbook filled with stories and pictures about their student-athlete. If someone is constructing a scrapbook for Randleman High School senior basketball player Gracyn Hall, no doubt there are volumes and volumes about her stellar four-year career as a Tiger.
Hall, one of the top scorers in school history, is once again leading the Tigers to a phenomenal season.
Hall and the Tigers, who had already clinched their fourth straight conference title with this senior class, rolled to a win over Providence Grove Friday night to move to 21-1 overall, 11-0 in Piedmont Athletic Conference play.
The only game standing in the way of back-to-back undefeated league seasons and going unbeaten in three of the past four conference campaigns is Thursday’s game at Trinity.
In Hall’s four years, the Tigers are 82-9 overall and 45-2 in league play.
Hall has already busted past the 1,500-point plateau. It’s a four-year career very few players can match.
“The thing is, if you want to be good, you have to be consistent every night,” said RHS coach Brandon Varner, who has led a girls basketball resurgence at the school. “She is so consistent. She’s a double-double machine.”
As strong on the floor as she is, as good of a teammate as she is and as overall talented as she has been in all four years, there were some doubts early on. Not from Varner, but from Hall.
Varner said he remembers the time prior to her freshman season, she went with the Tigers to a summer jamboree in Statesville.
“She didn’t play very well and she came to me and said, ‘I don’t know where I fit in.’ I told her it was going to be OK and to give things time,” Varner said. “Things have worked out quite well.”
A big part of early development was having the opportunity to play with senior Taylor Gantt, one of the most talented point guards in the area. The two took off at the varsity level instantly as the Tigers, who won just three games prior to Varner’s arrival, finished unbeaten in league play at 12-0 and had a 24-3 overall record.
"I've been watching her play since fifth grade and knew she would have an immediate impact as a freshman," Varner said. "Playing with Taylor going into her senior year was going to be beneficial."
Working with Gantt, the 5-foot-11 Hall averaged 15.2 points and 7.4 rebounds her initial varsity campaign.
In her COVID-shortened sophomore season, Hall averaged 20.2 points and 9.6 rebounds.
As a junior, she pumped in 18.6 points and 11.7 rebounds as the Tiger program continued to roar.
This season, as the Tigers prepare for their final regular season game, the PAC Tournament and then hopefully a deep run in the state tournament, Hall is averaging 16 points and 10.7 rebounds. Although her numbers are still very impressive, she has taken on an even more important role this season.
“This year has been kind of just keeping the team glued together,” Varner said. “Staying the course. More or less like, ‘Hey we are getting everyone's best shot so we have to be ready.’ Things aren’t going to go our way all the time; she keeps everyone together.
“She motivates others, pulls for others. She’s a great teammate and a great leader.”
Of all the regular season games, conference tournament games, holiday tournament games and postseason games played, Hall said she has one she will always remember. It was the very first time she put on an RHS jersey. It was her freshman season and the Tigers opened that year against Asheboro.
“That is something that will always resonate with me,”Hall said. “It was the first game I played and I got to play with Taylor Gantt. Randleman had always lost to Asheboro and they had a really good team that year and everyone said we’d lose by 20 and we beat them (52-40).”
Hall, the daughter of former RHS standouts Tyler Hall and Haven Webster, has plenty of other game highlights as well. But it’s something else she said that has been the highlight of her high school career.
“The thing that really stands out is the relationships I made with Varner and these girls,” Hall said. “They are relationships that will last a lifetime. The kind where you might not see someone for a while, but when you do, you pick things up from right where you left off.”
And now, with one regular season game remaining before her final conference tournament and one final try for a state title, Hall said the inevitability of her career ending has crept into her mind.
“It’s obviously in the back of my mind that every game we get one step closer to being done,” she said. “But I’m taking it one game at a time and enjoying the time with my teammates. I think we all knew that if we all bought into the program and gave the work and dedicated ourselves every single summer, every season, every offseason, we could be something special.”
The last four years have been far more than special at RHS. The last four years, like Hall’s play, have been epic.