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Comets tumble in district chase with 64-29 loss

At a time in the season when the Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball team should be playing its best basketball, it’s playing its worst. With the team’s offensive production continuing to slump, William Fleming High School put the Comets away in the first quarter and rolled up an easy 64-29 win.

The 29 points the Comets scored was the lowest point total a Comets basketball team has scored in at least four seasons. Halifax County’s point totals in their two previous games were 37 in a loss to Franklin County and 33 in a loss last Friday to GW in Danville.

“It’s hard to figure,” remarked Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.

“I’ve never been through anything like this. We’ve got to figure something out.”

“We’re just not playing well,” added Epperly.

“We’ve got some issues off the floor that have set us back the last week or so. You just have to deal with it, move on and try to do the best you can.”

Making things worse is the fact that the loss to William Fleming dropped the Comets into a three-way tie for third place in the district standings with William Fleming and Franklin County with only three district games remaining on the schedule.

Two of the Comets’ three remaining district games are against Patrick Henry High School, the first of those coming up Friday night in Roanoke. The other game is a Feb. 3 contest at home against Franklin County.

Only the top four teams will compete in the Western Valley District Tournament, and the Comets are in a perilous position in which they apparently now need at least one more win if they are to make the field for the post-season tournament.

“It was a huge game for us,” Epperly said of the loss to William Fleming High School.

“We didn’t talk about it because I didn’t want to put any pressure on the players by talking about needing to win. But, we as coaches knew this was a big game.”

William Fleming High School buried the Comets early. Taking aim at the Comets’ zone defense, the Colonels’ Warren Craft hit a pair of 3-point baskets and scored eight points in the first three minutes of the game to help William Fleming bolt to a 10-2 lead.

Craft scored 12 of his game-high 25 points in the first quarter as William Fleming rang up a 23-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.  Everything went downhill for the Comets after that.

The Comets managed only five points in the second quarter and trailed 32-11 at halftime. Tavion Petty accounted for seven of the eight points the Comets scored in the third quarter as William Fleming forged a 45-19 lead.

Halifax County’s best scoring quarter was the fourth quarter when the team posted 10 points. Ford Bradshaw hit two baskets before Epperly removed all of his starters from the floor with five and a half minutes left in the game.

Petty, with nine points, and Bradshaw with seven points, accounted for the bulk of the Comets’ scoring in the contest.

HALIFAX COUNTY

NAME FG FT F TP

Bradshaw 3 1-3 2 7

Woody 0 0-1 1 0

Brooks 1 1-2 1 3

Edmunds 0 1-2 0 1

Ford 2 0-0 2 4

Morrison 0 0-2 0 0

Johnson 0 1-2 0 1

Delaware 2 0-0 1 4

Jones 0 0-0 0 0

Petty 4 0-0 0 9

Jennings 0 0-0 1 0

Totals 12 4-12 8 29

WILLIAM FLEMING

NAME FG FT F TP

Henderson 4 0-3 1 8

Shorter 0 0-0 2 0

Walker 0 0-0 3 0

Paul 0 0-0 0 0

Casey 4 0-0 2 11

Law 5 3-3 0 13

Craft 7 3-4 0 25

Trevor 1 0-0 0 3

Bonds 2 0-0 0 4

Manning 0 0-2 4 0

Robertson 0 0-0 0 0

Jennings 0 0-0 0 0

Caldwell 0 0-0 0 0

Totals 23 6-12 12 64

Three-Point Field Goals: Petty (HC) 1, Casey (WF) 3, Craft (WF) 3, Trevor (WF) 1.