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Offensive drought wilts Blue Comets

It’s a vexing situation. For two games in a row, the Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball team has built a tempo that has held opponents to 50 points or less. But, the Comets have been unable to produce much of anything on the offensive end.

The latest chapter in that saga was written Friday night when the Comets lost 50-33 to archrival GW in Danville. It was the Comets’ second straight loss in Western Valley District play and dropped them to 2-2 in district play and 6-9 overall.

“We have the tempo right where I think we need it, but we just can’t make shots,” Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly said in the wake of Friday night’s loss.

“We just weren’t sharp. This time of the season you should be getting stronger and playing your best. The last two games we have played have been two of our worst games. It’s hard to figure.”

The Comets never led in the game. They did force a tie on one occasion in the second quarter, that coming on a three-pointer from Keema Jones that tied the game at 13-13 with 3:48 left in the first half.

Halifax County did not score the rest of the half, and GW, with a 10-0 run that included a tip-in by Chris Burton at the buzzer, took a 23-13 lead at halftime.

GW took a 12-point lead at the outset for the third quarter, but a 7-2 spurt by the Comets, with five of the points coming from Freddie Edmunds, allowed them to trim the GW lead to seven points at 27-20 with 4:04 left in the third quarter.

A three-point shot by Ford Bradshaw with 3:22 left in the quarter got the Comets to within six points. That was as close as the Comets would get the rest of the night.

Holding a nine-point advantage, GW put together a 10-2 run in the final two minutes of the game to make the final 17-point margin.

“The last two minutes it (the game) really got away from us,” Epperly remarked.

“We could not finish around the basket. We probably missed 12-15 layups. The funny thing about it is when you miss a layup you give up a layup on the other end because it gives them (the opponent) a fast-break opportunity.”

Epperly pointed out that when a team struggles on offense, it affects the rest of the game.

“When you’re having a hard time on offense it makes your whole game ugly,” he said.

“It’s hard to go back and play defense every time when you’re not scoring. Right now we just can’t score. It makes the whole game harder when you can’t score.”

Edmunds led the Comets in scoring with 13 points and was the only player to hit double digits in the scoring column for the Comets. Bradshaw chipped in eight points.

With two straight district losses, the Comets face a big week in Western Valley District play. The Comets travel to Roanoke on Tuesday to face William Fleming High School. On Friday, the Comets return to Roanoke to face district leader Patrick Henry High School. Sandwiched between those games is a non-district game here Wednesday against Martinsville High School.

Halifax County defeated William Fleming High School here earlier this season, and they are in need of another win before finishing up what will be a string of four straight district road games.

“We’ve got two trips to Roanoke this week and that’s going to be hard,” Epperly said.

“If we’re going to make the field for the (Western Valley District) tournament we’re going to have to get a road win somewhere.

“Every game is important right now,” he added.

“You’ve got to get every win you can. One team is not going to make the tournament, and it’s still wide open. We’ve got a lot of work to do if we’re going to make it.”