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Lady Comets salvage a split

Alexia Tucker scored a game-high 23 points, including three three-pointers, and the Comets’ varsity girls basketball team salvaged a split at the HCHS Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament with a 60-33 win over Park View Wednesday at Comets Gym.

Brianna Lindsey finished with 12 points, Janiyah Logan with seven points, Khadijah Brandon with six points and Che’Lese Bowman with five points for the Comets.

Jaynee Campbell had three points and Ashley Hill and Danyelle Edmonds two points apiece for Halifax County, which found itself playing in the consolation game of the tournament for the first time in its nine-year history after a loss to Gretna in the opening round.

Both teams were sluggish in the early going, with the Comets misfiring on a number of shots in the first quarter, missing 13 of 15 three-point attempts, but getting three-pointers from Tucker and Campbell to help it take a 10-8 lead.

Park View got as close as 13-11 on a three-point play by Brianna Rogers early in the second quarter, but Halifax led 25-16 at halftime, with Tucker scoring eight points and Logan seven in the second period.

Halifax County led by 10 points late in the third quarter before Tucker drove the lane for a bucket and added a layup following a steal to give her team a 37-23 lead with a quarter remaining.

Park View got as close as 41-32 after two made foul shots by Tiara Burrette in the fourth quarter, but the Comets went on a 19-1 run to close out the game, with Khadijah Brandon coming off the bench to hit a three-pointer and basket, and Lindsey hitting two baskets in the surge.

Halifax won despite connecting on only six of 29 three-point attempts for the game and connecting on 10 of 23 free throw attempts.

The Comets, who had 23 turnovers in the loss to Gretna, did a better job of handling the ball against Park View, finishing with nine turnovers against the Lady Dragons.

Comets’ coach Matthew McCargo is still looking for consistency and balance from his team as it approaches its Western Valley District opener Jan. 3 at GW-Danville.

“We still have problems with leadership and are still young as far as experience goes,” said McCargo, whose game plan didn’t specifically include the large number of three-point attempts.

“Lexi has been pretty consistent and is another one who has been hesitant in looking for her shot because she’s focusing on getting the ball to a teammate,” he explained.

“We definitely need that, but we also need for her to look for her shot.

“We’ve been trying to get some of the kids to shoot the ball when they’re open, and a couple of them decided to do that tonight.

“I’d much rather see them shoot it rather than pass up a wide open shot, and at least with a shot attempt we have a chance at an offensive rebound.”

McCargo is looking for more intensity and focus from his team, something the Comets didn’t have against Park View Wednesday, he added.

The Comets led Park View 23-3 after the first quarter in a 62-30 win in South Hill earlier this season, but led only 10-8 after one quarter on Wednesday.

“We have to come out and play with intensity every night, and we have to do things we’ve been teaching,” said McCargo.

“You can’t throw out the fundamentals when you play a ball game, and that’s what we tend to do.

“We just have to be more focused and play more intense and do the little things in order to put teams away.

“When a team is coming from behind, they’re going to crash the boards and look for extra shot attempts, so we have to box out, and we don’t do that.

“Once we get a lead, we stand around, and once [an opponent] gets a bit aggressive, we give in to them, and we can’t do that.”