- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Many people understand that this season’s young Halifax County High School varsity girls basketball team is going to have it struggles. The Comets definitely had their struggles in Monday night’s home season-opener against Martinsville High School. Fortunately, the young Comets players were able to both learn and win.
Halifax County almost squandered a 10-point lead in the final three minutes, but was able to do enough down the stretch to hold off the Lady Bulldogs 54-51 to win the season-opener.
“I said early on we would have to learn how to win and how to eliminate all of those rookie mistakes that would come in at crucial points in the ballgame,” noted Comets Head Coach Matthew McCargo.
“This is a big confidence booster. Anytime you can win your opening game it means a lot. Hopefully it will motivate us to keep winning.”
The Comets’ Janiyah Logan canned a bucket with 2:36 left in the game to run her fourth-quarter tally to nine points and put the Comets up 52-42. Almost immediately, things got sticky for the Comets as miscues and turnovers opened the door for Martinsville High School to get back into contention.
Halifax County led by two points at 52-50 when Martinsville’s Marissa Hariston stepped up to the free throw line for a two-shot opportunity with 5.8 seconds to play. Hariston made the first shot make the score 52-51, but missed the second shot.
The Comets snared the rebound, and Lexi Tucker was immediately fouled. Tucker, who had been steady at the charity stripe throughout the game, hit both of her free throws with 2.3 seconds left to seal the win.
Tucker finished her night with a 9-12 mark at the charity stripe, with the Comets having a 16-23 night at the free throw line as a team.
“Free throw percentage is something we’ve been bad in for a long time,” McCargo pointed out, “but it saved us tonight.”
Halifax County also had its troubles early in the game. The Comets went the first four and a half minutes of the game without scoring a point. It was Tucker, who finished the game with 16 points, that broke the ice.
Martinsville led 9-0 when Tucker hit a three-point shot with 3:30 left in the first quarter to make it a 9-3 score.
From there, the Comets spent the rest of the first half trying to overcome their early deficit. Halifax County trailed 17-10 at the end of the first quarter and put together a 9-2 run in the first four minutes and 16 seconds of the second quarter to deadlock the game.
A three-point bucket from Jaynee Campbell with 3:44 left in the first half tied the game at 19-19. Mecca Cole’s basket with 25 seconds left in the first half gave the Comets their first lead of the game – a 28-27 edge they held until halftime.
The lead swapped hands four times in the third quarter, which ended with the Comets leading 38-36. Halifax County twice led by as many as six points in the early stages of the fourth quarter before building a 10-point edge with just over three minutes remaining in the game.
“I’m so proud because most teams that are this young and playing together for just the first year would have folded once we got down, but they fought back, continued to fight and played hard,” McCargo remarked.
“We just need to improve in every area.”
NAME FG FT F TP
Mitchell 1 0-0 3 2
Stokes 0 0-0 2 0
Hariston 8 4-6 4 22
Shelton 0 1-2 2 1
Law 0 2-3 1 2
Grant 1 0-0 3 2
Manns 7 6-12 1 20
Roberson 0 2-2 1 2
Totals 17 15-25 17 51
NAME FG FT F TP
Tucker 3 9-12 0 16
Lindsey 2 1-2 5 5
Bowman 2 3-3 3 8
Cole 2 0-0 3 4
Jackson 1 0-0 0 2
Logan 4 0-2 0 9
Hill 0 1-2 5 1
Campbell 2 2-2 2 7
Snead 1 0-0 2 2
Totals 17 16-23 20 54
w Three-Point Baskets: Tucker (HC) 1, Bowman (HC) 1, Logan (HC) 1, Campbell (HC) 1,Hariston (M) 2.
Martinsville 17 10 9 15-51
Halifax Co. 10 18 10 16-54