- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Doug Ford
The Comets’ boy’s varsity basketball team had a lackluster game in a 79-63 loss at E.C. Glass in December.
The Comets turned the tables Saturday at home, leading by as many as 15 points in the third quarter before stemming a Hilltoppers rally and winning 63-54.
Freddie Edmunds led the Comets with a game-high 22 points, 16 coming in the second half, while Dakota Delaware added 21, seven coming in the first quarter.
Ford Bradshaw scored 10 points, and Keenma Jones and Tavares Hamlett added four points each, with Hamlett hitting a key basket for the Comets after Glass had cut a 41-26 third-quarter deficit to 56-54 with less than a minute remaining.
Freshman Tavion Petty added two points for Halifax County, which improved to 6-7 overall (2-0 WVD).
Najee Culver led E.C. Glass with 16 points, while Karl Overstreet added 12, six coming in the fourth quarter.
Halifax County controlled the tempo of the game by employing a zone defense, and it paid dividends, according to Bradshaw.
“We played man-to-man at Glass and weren’t really getting in our man that good, and the zone has been helping our defense a lot with our rebounding,” he explained.
“We are playing harder and we’ve slowed the tempo down a lot,” agreed Comets’ Head Coach Larry Epperly.
“A lot of it is we’re zoning and controlling tempo. We felt like the zone would also allow us to keep our players in the game a little longer.
“We don’t have a lot of depth and our bench is short, so zoning has allowed us to keep guys in the game without fouling, and it’s allowed us to set a better tempo.”
Halifax County overcame an early 11-2 deficit to trail by only 15-12 after one quarter, and the Comets took their first lead of the game late in the second quarter at 20-19 on a Delaware basket.
A three-point play by Delaware and three-pointer by Ford Bradshaw were key elements of a 12-1 run that helped give the Comets a 26-24 lead at halftime.
Edmunds helped get his team off to a good start in the third quarter with a three-point play and score off a steal, followed by baskets by Jones and Delaware.
Bradshaw completed the 11-0 run with a basket following another steal to make it 37-24, and baskets by Delaware and Jones gave the Comets their biggest lead at 41-26 midway through the third quarter.
Halifax led 46-35 with a quarter remaining, but Glass slowly chipped away, pulling to within 51-47 midway through the quarter, before Edmunds hit a basket and three-point play to make it 56-47.
The second of two driving layups from Culver brought his team to within 56-54 with 1:19 remaining, but baskets by Hamlett and Delaware along with three-of-four foul shooting in the final minute gave the Comets the win.
Edmunds said the win was a big momentum boost as they head into two key district games at home this week.
His team played harder than it did at Glass and had fewer turnovers (10) than in the first game between the two teams, he added.
“We worked harder (tonight) and had more effort, and we didn’t lose the ball like we did up there. We have to work hard in practice, keep the motivation up and do the best we can,” said Edmunds.
“When you’re struggling to get wins, any win is a good one, and we were happy to get the win,” noted Epperly.
“We’re starting to figure some things out and making some plays at times.
“We’re disappointed we couldn’t hang on to the lead, we had some ill-advised shots and our defense broke down at times.”
“I’m pleased to get the win,” Epperly added.
“We just have to straighten some things out on offense. We still struggle to get the ball to the right places when we need it.
“The times we had success tonight was when we had the patience to get the ball inside.
“It was a nice win, but we’re going to have to play better than that to win conference games.”
His team didn’t shoot the ball well against the Comets’ zone, according to Glass Head Coach Roy Roberson.
“At Glass, we shot the ball extremely well. Tonight, they did a good job in their zone, making us work to really get the ball inside.
“Some of the shots we can hit and have been hitting didn’t go down, and one of things we’ve stressed to the team is when the ball doesn’t go in you have to play a lot harder on the defensive end.”
“Defensively we had guys not doing what we practice, Roberson added.
“They hurt us with some of the offside action, and No. 11 (Edmunds) scored probably four or five times with layups under the bucket.”