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Boys Fall To GW In WVD Tourney

Halifax County High School put up a good fight in Thursday night’s Western Valley District Tournament semi-final game against arch-rival GW.
But, the Comets didn’t have as many guns as the Eagles. Missing senior center Kejuan Mayo who had sustained a broken wrist in last Tuesday’s regular-season finale, the Comets fell to GW 64-46, ending the Comets’ season.

“Our kids fought hard,” remarked Comets head coach Lynn Ramage, whose Comets team finished the season with 12 wins.

“They played their hearts out. We just didn’t have any weapons.”

Mayo and the Comets’s top scorer, Deshon Dabbs went down with injuries in last Tuesday’s game against Franklin County. Dabbs, who had to have multiple stitches to close a nasty cut, scored 14 points, a dozen of which came in the second half, and snared five rebounds.Teammate Marcus Williams added a dozen points. But, the Comets could not make up for Mayo’s loss in the middle.

GW’s Virginia Tech-bound senior center C.J. Barksdale was too much for Comets reserve center Keon Gutrich to handle. Barksdale scored 14 points, snared 15 rebounds and blocked seven shots. Gutrich had two rebounds and scored two points.

“We needed to get everything to go right for us to win,” Ramage pointed out.

“We had to rebound, we had to not let them get second-shot opportunities, we had to shoot well, we had to make good decisions with the basketball.
“We did everything decent,” added Ramage.

“We did not do a good job. We’d get a turnover or a rebound and then turn it (the ball) right back over. You’re not going to win games like that. You have to do all the little things right, especially up here. If you don’t, they will eat you alive.”

Ramage and the Comets appeared to have the right idea early, using a zone defense against GW and spreading the floor on offense.

The Comets stayed with GW through the first half of the first quarter, but a six-minute scoring drought left the Comets trailing 9-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Halifax County got itself back into the game in the second quarter, taking the lead away from GW on two occasions. The first came when Shaquan Bailey cashed in two free throws with 4:54 left in the first half to cap an 8-0 Comets run to put the Comets up 12-11. A lay-up by Dabbs with four minutes left in the half put the Comets up 14-13.

GW righted itself in the final four minutes and led 22-18 at halftime.

Halifax County closed the gap to a point on an eight-foot jump shot by Dabbs with 5:20 left in the third quarter to make the score 24-23. That was as close as the Comets would get the rest of the night.

With the Comets scoring only one point in the last 3:20 of the third quarter, GW pulled out to a 36-26 lead at the end of the period.

A technical foul called against the Comets opened the door for GW to score four points in the first 30 seconds of the fourth quarter and pull out to a 40-26 lead.

The Comets got a three-point shot from Marcus Williams with 6:01 left to get to within 12 points at 44-32. From there, GW maintained its edge, building its lead to as high as 18 points before ending the game with an 18-point margin of victory.

“They’re a good team,” Ramage said of GW.

“They just had too much firepower. They’re athletic and they shoot their shots. We hung with them. It’s a tough loss.”