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For Comets boys, real season begins with archrival GW

The real season begins next week for the Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball team. Halifax County High School (2-6 overall) is facing a tough opening week of Western Valley District play next week, facing archrival GW of Danville here Tuesday night and taking on William Fleming High School of Roanoke here Friday night.

Both games will start at 7:30 p.m.

The Comets enter Tuesday’s district opener against GW with a 2-6 mark after having split their pair of games in this week’s Halifax County High School Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament.

Halifax County High School has struggled through its first eight games and needs to put some positive things together this week as it enters the most important phase of the season.

“We’ve got to find something positive,” said Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.

“It’s going to be an uphill climb.”

Epperly and his coaching staff have been shuffling personnel and are continuing the search to find the right combination of players to put on the floor. Coupled with that is the continuing struggle the players have had in honing fundamental skills and learning Epperly’s offensive and defensive schemes.

In the wake of Wednesday night’s loss at the hands of Person (N.C.) High School in the championship game of the Halifax County High School Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament Epperly said he does not feel the team is ready for the start of district play.

“We’re not ready,” the Comets coach pointed out.

“There is no question about that. We have two wins and both of the teams we have beaten have losing records right now. The teams that have been pretty good and competitive on our schedule, we have not done well against. Against good teams we struggle. Now we’re going to be playing good teams every night. We’re just going to hang in there and see what happens.”

The team, Epperly says, has a lot of work ahead.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff to work out,” Epperly explained.

“I don’t know if we have enough time between now and Tuesday to do what we need to do. The understanding is still not there. Guys are not real comfortable, and they’re still not sure what they’re supposed to do. That takes time.

“We’re just so far behind,” Epperly continued.

“In practice, we’re doing basic fundamental stuff, trying to do catch-up stuff. We’re just not ready for the teams we’re playing. We’re going to have to be patient and hope we get better.”

Next week’s pair of Western Valley District games kicks off a string of games that will have the Comets playing on their home court for four of their next five games. Many teams feel they have an edge playing on their home court in front of a home crowd. Epperly said he doesn’t necessarily feel a team has an automatic advantage playing at home.

“The court is the same everywhere,” he said.

“You’ve got to play well to win. To win at home or on the road you have to do the same things, take care of the ball, rebound the ball, block out on the boards and take good shots.

“If you do those things on the road you will win, and if you do those things at home you will win,” he concluded.