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Lady Comets let lead slip away, lose to GW

The game began as if it could be a signature win for the Comets’ varsity girl’s basketball team, but in the end it was just another disappointing loss, a 51-40 setback at home Friday to GW-Danville. Janiyah Logan led Halifax County (6-11, 0-4 WVD) with 13 points, including a three-pointer, while Che’Lese Bowman scored 12 points, including a trio of three-pointers.

Lexi Tucker added six points, and Sheraine Claughton, Mecca Cole, and Briyana Jackson and Brianna Lindsey scored two points apiece, and Ashley Hill added one point at the foul line for Halifax County, which was a paltry four-for-17 at the foul line for the game.

Khadijah Wilson scored a game-high 18 points for GW, 15 coming in the second half to help rally her team from a 21-13 deficit at halftime.

Bri Fitzgerald finished with nine points and eight rebounds, while Courtney Martin scored eight points for the Eagles (12-3, 4-1 WVD), who went on an 11-0 run the last part of the third quarter and the first part of the fourth to take the lead for good.

The game was tied 32-32 going into the fourth quarter, but Wilson scored six of her team’s first 12 points as the Eagles outscored Halifax 19-9 down the stretch to pull away.

GW Head Coach Wayne Shelton said he expected a much closer game Friday than in the teams’ first meeting in Danville Jan 3, a 67-18 win for GW.

“We knew they were a better team.  We played real well that night, and they didn’t shoot very well,” Shelton said.

“We knew they had some talented players, and coach (Matthew McCargo) does a great job over there.  We tried the last couple of days to get our kids mentally ready, and we had to play tonight.”

“They played well, take nothing from them,” continued Shelton.  We didn’t play poorly early, but they played better than we did.”

Turnovers and poor free throw shooting helped doom his team to a fourth straight district loss, according to McCargo.

The Comets committed five turnovers in the fourth quarter and hit only three of 10 free throws when the issue was still in doubt.

“The effort was there, and the execution was there for the most part,” McCargo said.

“Late in the game we had some turnovers, some of them unforced, but the one good thing was we got to the fourth quarter where we at least had a chance.

“That’s something we hadn’t done in previous games.  We all competed, we all battled and, something we’d talked about, didn’t quit and kept fighting.”

Halifax County held a 12-1 lead early behind two Bowman three-pointers, and the Comets led 12-4 heading into the second period.

Tucker’s five second-quarter points helped Halifax take a 21-13 lead at halftime, and the Comets built as much as a 26-17 bulge in the third quarter on Che’Lese Bowman’s third three-pointer of the game.

GW went on a 10-1 run to tie the game, and Logan hit a three-pointer and basket for the Comets before GW scored the last five points of the quarter for a 32-32 tie.

GW scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, and Halifax got to within two points twice more, once on a basket by Claughton and again on a bucket by Logan, but Comets’ turnovers and missed free throws cost them a chance at getting close enough to pull out a win.

“They played such good defense early we couldn’t get a good look at the bucket,” Shelton explained.

“A lot of our defense stems from us scoring and putting pressure on the ball, and the whole first quarter we never seemed to score and were always retreating.

“They (Halifax) played really well, and our kids did a great job of coming back to get a big win.”

McCargo again noted the missed opportunities at the foul line and costly turnovers down the stretch as things that cost his team dearly.

“We did a better job of boxing out and going after rebounds,” he added.

“Eventually we’ll catch somebody and put it all together.  We didn’t win the game, but it was a major victory for us in the things we have to get done to become a better team.”