- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
A late miss at the free throw line and a couple of miscues down the stretch were too much for Halifax County High School to overcome in a 63-62 loss to neighboring border rival Person (N.C.) High School here Friday night. The Comets missed a one-and-one opportunity to the charity stripe with 4.7 seconds left in the game, and fell victim to a five-second call when they were unable to get the ball inbounds in a last-ditch bid for a potential game-winning shot with 1.4 seconds left.
“We’ll learn from it and get better,” remarked Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.
“It’s early. It was a learning experience. We’re still trying to find out who can play a little bit and what combinations work well. We’ll get better from it.”
While the game had a disappointing end for the Comets, the fact that they still had an opportunity to win late in the game was an upside.
Comets center Dakota Delaware was injured in the first half when he was nailed by a Person High School defender while attempting a lay-up and fell to the floor on his back. Delaware returned to the game late in the fourth quarter, but was not effective.
Freddie Edmunds, one of the Comets’ forwards, took a hard spill and had to spend periods of time on the bench after being hit with foul trouble. Forward Shaquille Ford got into early foul trouble, and was one of three Comets players including backup center James Jennings and reserve guard T.J. Brooks that fouled out of the game.
“We battled adversity all night long,” Epperly pointed out.
“It was one thing after another, Dakota gets hurt. Freddie (Edmunds) gets into foul trouble, Ford (Shaquille Ford) picks up two fouls early. We had some of the craziest lineups out there tonight.
“A lot of teams will fold when those kinds of things happen to them, but we found a way to hang in there all night,” added Epperly.
“I was proud of that. We had good effort. Everybody played really hard. If Dakota had been able to stay on the floor all night, and
Freddie (Edmunds) had been able to stay out there, I think things would have been a little different. But, it was what it was.”
The Comets struggled against Person High School’s zone defense in the second half, finding it tough to sink shots from the perimeter.
“We made a couple (of shots), but we shot a real poor percentage from the three-point line,” Epperly pointed out.
“When they (Person High) went to the zone, it really slowed us down. Shots were harder to find. We didn’t get people in the right spots at times, and we didn’t make a lot of shots against the zone. You’ve got to make some of those shots against the zone. If you don’t they will stay in it and dare you to shoot it.”
Early on, it looked as if the Comets might run away from the Rockets. The Comets led 20-5 at one juncture of the first period and led 20-9 after the first eight-minute period.
A pair of free throws from Edmunds with 3:40 left in the first half gave the Comets a 28-16 edge. Person High School rallied in the final two minutes of the half, and a basket from the Rockets’ Tyrone Outlaw with six seconds left in the half cut the Comets’ lead to two points at 34-32 at halftime.
A quick 7-0 spurt by the Rockets early in the third quarter gave the Rockets their first lead of the game at 39-36 with 5:50 left in the third quarter. The lead swapped hands four times before the third quarter ended with the Rockets leading 50-48.
Halifax County got the lead back on a shot by Edmunds with 3:48 left, but fell behind again when Outlaw hit a pair of free throws with 2:35 left to put the Rockets up 58-56.
The Comets never trailed by more than three points down the stretch, but were unable to make the big plays at the end.
“We had makeshift lineups and the execution was hard all night long,” noted Epperly.
“Sure, we made mistakes and turned the ball over some and missed a few block-outs, but we had guys playing out of position. We still had a chance to win.”
NAME FG FT F TP
King 1 0-0 0 2
Torain 1 2-4 2 4
Stephens 1 0-0 3 3
Scoggins, T. 4 4-8 2 14
Coats 1 0-0 4 3
Winstead 1 2-2 1 4
Cash 0 1-2 0 1
Smith 1 1-4 1 3
Outlaw 7 8-10 4 23
Scoggins, D. 3 0-0 3 6
Totals 20 18-30 20 63
NAME FG FT F TP
Bradshaw 4 8-11 3 16
Woody 0 0-0 0 0
Brooks 2 0-0 5 5
Edmunds 6 5-8 4 17
Ford 0 1-1 5 1
Morrison 0 0-0 1 0
Delaware 3 0-2 1 6
Petty 5 1-2 1 12
Jennings 2 0-0 5 4
Totals 22 15-24 25 62
Three-Point Baskets: Petty (HC) 2, Brooks (HC) 1, T. Scoggins (P) 2, Stephens (P) 1, Coats (P) 1, Outlaw (P) 1.
Person High 9 23 18 13-63
Halifax Co. 20 14 14 14-62