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Lady Comets Slip Past Patrick Henry 58-48

The Comets varsity girls’ basketball team needed a win Wednesday at Patrick Henry to get an opportunity to play for the number one seed in the Western Valley District Tournament and the district’s top seed in the Northwest Region Tournament. Halifax will get that opportunity following a 58-48 win over the Patriots to set up a one-game playoff with William Fleming tonight at 7 p.m. at Franklin County High School.

The Lady Comets will host a semifinal game in the Western Valley District Tournament tomorrow at 8 p.m. regardless of tonight’s outcome.

Both the Comets and Colonels finished the regular season tied atop the district standings with 7-1 records, but due to weather-related delays, Halifax needed to win two games in two nights to gain the tie, winning 63-58 Tuesday at Franklin County before traveling to Roanoke Wednesday.

The Comets got a game-high 19 points from Destiny Betts in the win, in addition to 15 from Melyse Brown, who was 5-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter and 9-10 for the game.

Tiffany Wilson had eight points and Whitney McCargo and Jamilia Smith four apiece for Halifax County, while Stephanie Carr chipped in with three, Shameika Canada and Nia Brown two points each and Ashley Leachman with one at the foul line.

Patrick Henry finished with eight 3-pointers for the game, including five by Jewellanna Parfitt, two by Sarah Williams and one by Zaynah Stephens.
Shakeia Salters led Patrick Henry with 17 points, ironically without hitting a 3-pointer, while Parfitt had 15 and Williams 10.

“It wasn’t a pretty win, and we played sluggish at times and well at others, but you kind of expect that with two road games in a row,” said McCargo.

“We played solid defense overall but had breakdowns that allowed Parfitt to hit a trio of threes down the stretch to bring PH close when I thought we were ready to pull away.”

Halifax held an 18-8 lead after one quarter, a 28-19 advantage at halftime and a 36-21 lead with a quarter remaining.

Betts had 12 points in the first quarter to help give her team the 10-point advantage, and two baskets from Melyse Brown and one each from Carr and Canada helped give Halifax the nine-point lead at halftime, despite second-quarter treys from Parfitt and Stephens.

McCargo, Wilson and Betts hit baskets in the third quarter, and the Patriots countered with only one field goal, as Halifax extended its lead to 17 points, but Parfitt hit three treys and Williams one in the fourth quarter to get Patrick Henry close.

Wilson hit three buckets in the final period, Betts and Smith two apiece, and Melyse Brown another, while hitting five of six free throws.
Carr hit one of two from the line in the fourth quarter for the Comets, who were 14-20 for the game.

“Tiffany Wilson had some crucial baskets, and Melyse was just superior from the free throw line,” said McCargo.  That kept us in the ball game all night and without that we probably lose.

“She kept the ball in her hands like good point guards do and when she went to the free throw line she knocked them down.

“Ashley came in and gave us some defensive pressure on Williams and some of their other guards, and Jamilia played well in the post defensively.

“Destiny didn’t have one of her better games but she grinded it out and was our leading scorer.”

Coach McCargo is very familiar with the coaching style of his William Fleming counterpart, Champ Hubbard, who served as AAU coach and mentor for nephew and former Comets’ star Craig McCargo.

“I‘d just like to mention how he contributed to my nephew’s success and to the success of our basketball program as a whole,” said coach McCargo.

“We look forward to playing William Fleming.  Champ is a really good coach and has been with them a long time just as I have with my girls.

“They’re a solid team, and they play really hard for him.”

At this time of year there are few secrets, and the key to winning tonight’s game comes down to execution and playing with intensity, according to McCargo.
“We just have to execute better what we already do in order to compete with Fleming and match their intensity,” he said.

“It will be a four-quarter game and the team that executes the best down the stretch will take home the win.”

Win or lose, McCargo is hoping for a big crowd of supporters tomorrow at Comets Gym for the district tournament.

“One goal the girls had, particularly the seniors, was to bring more fans to the games, and we’re asking the fans to come out and support us.

“If the fans come out, the girls promise to give 110 percent effort.”