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Tough road tests face Lady Comets

The overall girl’s basketball landscape in the Western Valley District has not changed very much since last season, when a dynamic Comets’ girl’s varsity basketball team swept all eight of its district games on the way to a 20-0 regular season. This year’s version of the Lady Comets is probably the youngest team in the district in terms of varsity experience, and it must take on GW-Danville and William Fleming on the road to open its Western Valley District schedule.

The Comets play GW in Danville on Tuesday and travel to Roanoke to face the Lady Colonels on Friday.

William Fleming and Franklin County are the prohibitive favorites in the district race, according to most observers, with both teams blessed with a number of returning players.

Patrick Henry also has a number of returnees, as does GW-Danville.

Halifax County, on the other hand, lost nine seniors and its entire starting five from last season, and it has a lot of work to do prior to the trip to GW, according to Head Coach Matthew McCargo.

“I think the three teams that go to the regionals from the Western Valley District will be the teams that work the hardest and improve the most,” McCargo said.

“Out of the five, we have the furthest to go to be one of those teams.”

Halifax County (5-5), with only a home contest Friday against Magna Vista remaining before the district season starts, split its two games in the annual HCHS Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament, losing to Gretna in the opening round before defeating Park View in the consolation game.

McCargo has seen his team take some positive steps in its efforts to get ready for the district season.

“We see some people starting to put the ball on the floor a little bit that were afraid before,” he noted.

“That’s a good sign because we’re going to need more of that, what with the small number of ball handlers we have now.  “We’re also seeing some people come off the bench and try to give us some energy.”

The Lady Comets need to continue improving in their defensive and offensive sets, and they need to come out of the locker room with focus from the opening tip, according to McCargo.

The Comets have been foul prone, losing two key players to fouls in the loss to Gretna in the holiday tourney, and they also did not shoot free throws well in those two games, finishing with a combined 19-46 mark at the charity stripe.

Halifax County needs a complete-game effort each game in order to compete against its district opponents, and it has little margin for error, McCargo hinted.

We need to have a willingness to get out there and compete,” McCargo emphasized.