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Glass bombs Comets in Beacon Classic

To say that Halifax County High School Head Coach Larry Epperly was disappointed following Saturday night’s game against E.C. Glass High School in the annual Beacon Classic would be something of an understatement. The Comets, in a lackluster performance, fell to the Hilltoppers 79-63. It was the second straight loss for the Comets after their having won their season opener against Martinsville High School.

“I was very disappointed in our team tonight,” Epperly said.

“I was disappointed in our effort. I was disappointed in our attitude. In the first half, we looked like we didn’t want to be here. That’s something we have to address.”

The Comets got off to a good start, and led 12-9 after Ta’vion Petty drained a bucket with 2:47 left in the first quarter. Then, things fell apart.

E.C. Glass went on an 11-0 run in the final two and a half minutes of the quarter to take a 20-12 lead. The Hilltoppers’ Daniel Bowling hit a 15-foot jumper in the first minute of the second quarter to extend the E.C. Glass run to 13-0 and increase the team’s lead to 10 points.

Halifax County never recovered.

A 6-0 run capped by a layup from guard Trelanne Johnson, whom Epperly brought up from the junior varsity team last week, allowed the Comets to cut the E.C. Glass lead to five points at 25-20 with 4:15 left in the second quarter. The Comets got no closer the rest of the game.

E.C. Glass ran off to a 40-24 lead at halftime and used a 9-2 run in the first three minutes and 10 seconds of the third quarter to extend its lead to 49-26.

With Freddie Edmunds leading the way, the Comets attempted to chip away at the Hilltoppers’ lead. They cut the deficit to 13 points with 1:37 left in the third quarter, only see the Hilltoppers get their shooting eye back. A 7-0 run by the Hilltoppers in the final 1:25 of the quarter gave E.C. Glass a 61-42 lead at the end of the quarter.

The Comets made one more push in the fourth quarter, with a pair of free throws from Edmunds allowing the Comets to pull to within 11 points at 69-58 with 2:28 left in the game.

E.C. Glass got back on track enough to hold the Comets at bay down the stretch and complete its 16-point win.

The Comets had had difficulty against zone defenses at time during their first two games, and appeared to be on the cusp of breaking the Hilltoppers’ zone defense on a pair of occasions.

“In the second half, when we did what we were supposed to do, we chopped it  (the E.C. Glass zone defense) apart,” Epperly pointed out.

But, inconsistent guard play on the part of the Comets and some good outside shooting on the part of E.C. Glass kept the Comets from being able to get over the top.

“Our guards played tentatively all night long,” Epperly pointed out.

“They were afraid to dribble it up in there and make the pass, and when they did, it was usually the wrong pass. We’ve got some depth problems at guard, and I’m not sure what the answers are. We’re going to keep working trying to figure it out.”

E.C. Glass Head Coach Roy Roberson said he did not have any specific plan on how to attack Halifax County going into the game.

“I didn’t know what their strength was,” Roberson said.

“I didn’t know anything about Halifax. For us, it was more about do what we do. Halifax has some pieces. I thought a big thing for us was that we shot the ball well.”

Edmunds led the Comets with 22 points, Petty followed with 11 points and Ford Bradshaw hit double digits with 10 points.

Anderson led the Hilltoppers in scoring with 24 points. Gardner followed with 15 points.

Halifax County (1-2 overall) will return to action Tuesday night when it goes on the road to face Brunswick High School in Lawrenceville. Game time is 7:30 p.m.