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Patrick Henry uses long ball to bury Comets

 

Patrick Henry High School’s sharp shooters took aim Friday night and found their target.

 

Nailing 10 3-point shots, the Patriots buried the Comets 71-53 Friday night in Roanoke to retain command of the regular-season Western Valley District title chase.

The Patriots’ B.J. Hamlett connected on seven 3-point baskets that included four in the first half. A 3-pointer from Hamlett with 4:52 left in the first half broke a 21-21 deadlock, and triggered a 12-0 run by the Patriots that produced a 33-21 lead for the Patriots at halftime.

Hamlett scored 16 of his game-high 25 points in the first half and teammate Marcus Banks scored all 12 of his points in the first half to produce the run that broke the Comets’ back.

“Our plan was to cheat to Hamlett and Banks and they (Halifax County High School players) got lost,” explained Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.

“The guys didn’t know where he (Hamlett) was. That’s our fault. We let the guys that can beat you beat us, and that’s unfortunate.”

Halifax County High School also ran into trouble on the boards as the Patriots began to wrestle control of the game from the Comets’ grasp.

“They (Patrick Henry High School) were able to get the rebound, throw it back out and bury a three, get a rebound, throw it back out and bury a three,” Epperly noted.

“We really had a hard time rebounding out of the zone (defense). The weak-side rebounding hurt us all night long.”

Patrick Henry High School gradually extended its lead throughout the second half, with a trio of 3-point field goals from Hamlett and three 3-point buckets from Christian Kirchman in the second half helping the Patriots seal the win.

“They’re a good team,” Epperly said of the Patriots.

“They made us pay for our mistakes. Every time we turned the ball over or didn’t get a rebound, we paid for it. They’re the top team in the league. We just didn’t have enough for them.”

The Comets did have some success early. Led by a six-point effort from Freddie Edmunds and five points from Tavion Petty, the Comets rallied from a 5-0 deficit to take an 11-8 lead before trailing 16-15 at the end of the first quarter.

Dakota Delaware gave the Comets the lead twice on baskets early in the second quarter before the Comets went scoreless the last five minutes of the second half.

With the loss, the Comets (7-11 overall, 2-4 district) dropped into a tie for fourth place with Franklin County High School in the district standings. Only the top four teams will compete in the district tournament.

Halifax County High School has two games remaining, one against Franklin County High School here Friday night, and a home game against Patrick Henry High School a week from tonight.

“These last two games are going to be very meaningful,” Epperly said.

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“Every game is important. This one (PH) was important. With only two (games) left we need to try to win them both. They’re both at home, and hopefully, we will play better at home.”