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Comets resume WVD road trip

After losing a close 44-37 contest to Franklin County High School Tuesday night, the Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball is looking to get back on track tonight when it faces archrival GW in Danville.

Tonight’s 7:30 p.m. contest in Danville will be the second in a lengthy string of road games for the Comets, who began a string of four straight Western Valley District road games Tuesday night in Rocky Mount.

It’s a big game for both teams, as the Comets and Patrick Henry High School are tied for the lead in the district standings with one loss each. GW and Frankling County High School are tied for third place in the standings with two losses each.

The Comets enter tonight’s game with a 2-1 record in district play and a 6-8 overall mark. GW is 2-2 in district play, with one of its losses having come at the hands of the Comets here in the district opener.

Halifax County had an opportunity Tuesday night to squeeze out a win over Franklin County High School, but was unable to come up with a big play down the stretch to pull out the win.

The Comets trailed by eight points with just over two minutes left in the third quarter, and pulled to within three points at 33-30 at the end of the quarter after Tavaras Hamlett sank a 3-pointer and Tavion Petty connected on a 10-foot jumper in the final minute and 49 seconds of the period.

Keema Jones deadlocked the game for the Comets with a 3-pointer with 7:23 left in the game. But, the Comets went just shy of four and a half minutes without a score, allowing the Eagles to inch away to a five-point lead with just over three minutes left in the game.

A free throw from Hamlett with 2:32 left cut Franklin County High School’s lead to four points at 38-34. The Comets had a shot at cutting the lead to a single point when Ford Bradshaw launched a 3-pointer about a minute later. Bradshaw’s shot rolled off of the rim, and Franklin County went on to extend its lead back to six points.

The Comets made one more push following a timeout with 1:16 left in the game. Freddie Edmunds sank three out of four free throw attempts to bring the Comets to within three points at 40-37 with 49.8 seconds left.

Franklin County scored on its next possession on a dunk. The Eagles’ Kyle Ellis came up with a steal on the Comets’ next possession, and a layup off of that play sealed the 44-37 win for Franklin County High School.

“You hate to let a game like this slip away,” said Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.

“You’ve got to win on the road if you’re going to be any good.”

The Comets did a decent job done defensively, holding Franklin County High School’s physically larger team to less than 50 points. But, they were unable to muster enough points on the offensive end to get the job done, as they trailed from the start of the second quarter throughout the rest of the game.

“Defensively, at times, we played good enough to win,” Epperly said.

“We had two problems – one we couldn’t rebound the ball, and secondly, we didn’t get any loose balls. We clearly got dominated on the boards. I thought that was the difference in the game.”

There was also the matter of a lack of offensive punch.

“I guess their (Franklin County high School’s) size bothered us,” remarked Epperly.

“We just couldn’t make shots. We pretty much got what we wanted, but we couldn’t make them.

“We made mistakes,” Epperly continued, “but you’ve got to get loose balls and you have to rebound on the road. When you don’t, you pay the price.”

Epperly used an eight-player rotation, with Dakota Delaware leading the team in scoring with 10 points. Hamlett was next in line with eight points and Edmunds chipped in six points.