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Second-chance points lift Heritage over HC

If it hasn’t been one thing, it’s been another for the struggling Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball team. This time it was rebounding, or rather, a lack thereof.

Struggling on the boards, the Comets gave up a number of second and third-chance shots. Heritage High School took advantage of the situation and held on to down the Comets 73-63 here Friday night at Halifax County High School.

“We just tried to jump with them (the Heritage High School players) instead of blocking them out,” explained Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.

“You can’t win that way. We’ve got to do something about rebounding. I told our guys that if we don’t start doing a better job blocking out on the boards we’re going to be in for this every night. We’re not tall, and we’ve got to block people out, and we just don’t do it.”

While the Comets (1-4 overall) struggled at times, they made a valiant run at the Pioneers that started with two minutes left in the third quarter and stretched through the first four and a half minutes of the fourth quarter.

Trailing by 24 points at 57-33, the Comets put together a 14-0 run that included eight points from Freddie Edmunds, who finished the night as the Comets’ top scorer with 19 points, and four points from Trelanne Johnson, who finished his night with 17 points.

The run started with a pair of free throws from Edmunds with 1:57 left in the third quarter and ended with a layup from Edmunds with 6:58 left in the game. It brought the Comets to within 10 points at 57-47.

Twice after that the Comets whittled the Pioneers’ lead to eight points, the last time coming on basket from Ford Bradshaw with 3:20 left in the game. But, that was as close as they would get.

The Comets struggled from the outset and victimized themselves with 16 turnovers in the first half. Heritage High School (3-2 overall) led by 10 points at one juncture of the first period before the Comets cut the deficit to four points.

Still, the Pioneers managed to stretch their lead back to eight points at 21-13 at the end of the first quarter. They led by 15 points after Halifax County went almost four minutes without a basket in the second quarter and were up 35-22 at halftime.

Epperly, looking to try to get a little more quickness on the floor, went to a small lineup. That didn’t help the Comets’ situation a great deal, as they continued to struggle in their effort to get something positive going their way.

“We got totally out of synch there for awhile,” Epperly noted.

“When we took our centers out of the game it really did get confusing because we had guys playing out of position. We had guards playing forwards and forwards playing center and we got all of out of whack. There was a lot of confusion. We’re just not organized enough right now.”

The Comets did well enough to cut their turnovers down to just five in the second half. That, and the late surge led by Edmunds and Johnson got the Comets back into contention. But, they couldn’t quite dig themselves out of the big 24-point hole they had fallen into.

The Comets will be back in action Wednesday night when they travel to Roxboro, N.C. to face Person (N.C.) High School. Game time is 7 p.m.