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Brunswick rolls past Comets

Halifax County High School was quickly taken out of the game when it faced Brunswick High School and the talented Stith brothers in Lawrenceville in mid-December.

When the Comets faced Brunswick High School in a rematch here Wednesday night at Halifax County High School it was an entirely different story.

The Comets fell to the Bulldogs, 64-46 Wednesday night. But, this time, the Comets gave the Bulldogs a true contest.

Facing one of the top teams in the state and the highly-touted Stith brothers, Brandan and B.J., the sons of Brunswick head coach and former University of Virginia standout Bryant Stith, the Comets kept the game close much of the way.

Halifax County (5-7 overall, 2-0 district) led much of the first period, getting away to an early 7-2 lead. After falling behind, the Comets rallied from a 12-point deficit to get within three points when Freddie Edmunds sank a shot with 5:44 left in the third quarter. They stayed in contention through the middle of the third quarter before the Bulldogs began to pull away.

“We just got out-talented,” said Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.

“Tonight we just got beat by a better team. Our guys gave a good effort. We were in the game and doing some really nice things. It’s not only the Stith brothers. They just had so many weapons. It’s one thing to play a team that has one or two guys that you’ve got to worry about. With this team you have to worry about a bunch of guys.”

The Comets used a zone defense in an attempt to slow down Brunswick High School, which had beaten the Comets 65-36 in the first meeting between the two teams. That, and the fact that Bulldogs center Brandan Stith got into some early foul trouble slowed down the potent Brunswick High School offense.

“Brandan got two quick fouls and that changed the whole complexion of the game,” noted Brunswick coach Bryant Stith after the win that improved his team’s record to 12-1 on the season.

“He’s the guy that dominates the paint for us. That allowed them (Halifax County) to get a lot of shots around the basket uncontested because he was fearful of getting that fourth foul.”

Stith gave credit to the Comets for a good effort.

“My hat’s off to Halifax for coming up with a good game plan that slowed us down,” Stith said.

“Their coach did an excellent job of coming up with different strategies. They went with five guards and they gave us some problems on the perimeter. They packed their zone in and forced us to play around the three-point line. Our kids were able to figure it out and get a hard-fought victory.”

Halifax County led 22-21 after Edmunds sank a basket off of an offensive rebound with 4:12 left in the first half. After that, the Comets failed to score again in the quarter, opening the door for Brunswick to take a 34-22 lead at halftime.

A 9-0 run by the Comets to start the third quarter that included five points from Ford Bradshaw and four points from Edmunds brought the Comets to within three points at 34-31.

However, a 10-0 run by the Bulldogs that started with just over three minutes left in the third quarter put them up 51-37. That run burst the bubble on the Comets’ bid for a win.

Bradshaw and Edmunds led the Comets with 14 points and 11 points respectively.

Tre Mason and Shaquille Jones led Brunswick with 17 points each. B.J. Stith scored 11 points and Brandan Stith scored nine points.