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Comets cagers begin season tonight

With two pre-season scrimmages under their belts, the Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball team will open its season tonight, facing Martinsville High School in Martinsville. The game was originally slated for Monday night, but was switched to tonight, a circumstance that has given the Comets two days of practice this week to hone up on some things before tonight’s opener.

“We’re fortunate to be able to play on Wednesday,” remarked Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.

“Having two extra days of practice is helpful. I really didn’t want to have a day off before we play.”

Epperly and the Comets have had a busy pre-season reviewing fundamentals and implementing Epperly’s offensive and defense systems.

The Comets split their two pre-season scrimmage games, falling to Dan River High School here last Tuesday and downing Chatham High School here this past Friday morning.

Since Friday’s scrimmage, the concentration has centered around the fundamentals and getting ready to face Martinsville High School tonight.

“Every day we’re making progress,” Epperly said.

“We still need a couple of guys to step up and come forward.”

Epperly said the team is also in need of help from the bench.

“We just need some guys to step up,” he noted.

“The bench didn’t play well in the two scrimmages. We’ve got to get some help off of the bench and we need to see a third guard step up.”

While tonight’s starting lineup will be a game-time decision, Epperly said yesterday he expects to go with a small lineup that produced good results in last Friday’s scrimmage against Chatham High School.

That group included 6-0 senior Ford Bradshaw and 6-1 freshman Ta’vion Petty at the guard spots, 6-3 senior Freddie Edmonds and 6-2 senior Shaquille Ford at the forward spots and 6-2 junior Dakota Delaware at center.

“In the eight quarters of scrimmage we have played, that group has been the most effective,” Epperly pointed out.

“We seem to be quicker with Dakota at center and he runs the floor well. We put up 25 points in the quarter that we had those guys on the floor last Friday (against Chatham High School) and held the other team to three points.”

If Delaware gets the starting nod at center, 6-7 junior James Jennings will be available to come off of the bench and give the Comets some added size.

“He (Jennings) has been able to block some shots and change some things defensively,” Epperly said.

“He’s a big kid and we need to have him contribute.”

After tonight’s season opener, the Comets will face another tough test on Friday night. Neighboring border rival Person (N.C.) High School will come to town Friday night, with the Comets facing the Rockets at 7:30 in what will be the Comets’ home opener.

A junior varsity contest will precede the varsity game.