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Comets edged in final tune-up

The regular-season campaign may not have ended the way Halifax County High School Head Wrestling Coach Brady Taylor may have liked, but Wednesday night’s narrow 42-33 loss to Nottoway High School wasn’t all bad.

Forfeiting three weight classes and giving up 18 points, the Comets battled their way back to within nine points of Nottoway County High School in the team’s final tune-up before Saturday’s Western Valley District Tournament at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount.

In fact, the Comets drew to within three points before having to forfeit the 285-pound weight, the final weight class to be contested in the match.

“Spotting them 18 (points) and only losing by nine, we feel good about it,” Taylor pointed out.

“We don’t feel good about losing, but we feel good about the effort of the guys that have stuck it out for the whole season and were tough enough to be here tonight.”

On another positive note, even with the loss, the Comets finished the regular season with a 13-12 record in dual matches.

“This is the first time in a long time we have finished above .500 for the season,” Taylor noted.

“We have been right around the .500 mark, but this is the first time in several seasons that we have finished above .500. We’re proud of that.”

The Comets won six of the 11 weight classes that were contested, with Ethan Collie (120), Gannon Griffin (138), James Anderson (160), Tommy Hairston (170), Kiaos Ragsdale (182) and Ezra Walker (220) picking up wins.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough.

“A couple of guys we expected to win didn’t, and a couple of guys we expected to not get pins did,” Taylor explained.

“We had a couple of matches that we had good shots at catching pins, and just didn’t do it. Nottoway earned their points. We just didn’t take advantage of one or two extra opportunities we had.”

Two of the five pins the Comets recorded came from first-year wrestlers Hairston and Walker.

“They finished strong for us and made it respectable,” Taylor said.

“They did a pretty good job.”

Halifax County High School has some positives in its fold heading into Saturday’s Western Valley District Tournament. Ragsdale is the Comets’ highest seeded wrestler, gaining a second seed in the 182-pound weight class.

“I think they should be fairly optimistic,” Taylor said of his wrestlers.

“The couple that lost should be able to use it for motivation, and the ones that got back on the winning track tonight hopefully can use that for motivation and continue that.

“We have a tough semi-final round at the district meet,” Taylor added, “but we’re going to try to put some people through to the finals and see what we can accomplish.

Stats

Nottoway 42 Halifax County 33

106 – Cody Barton (N) won by forfeit.

113 – Josh Lafferty (N) pinned Krunal Patel (HC) 2:34.

120 – Ethan Collie (HC) pinned Mikie Layne (N) 1:00.

126 – Caleb Lafferty (N) pinned Parth Patel (HC) 1:38.

132 – Shawn Thomas (N) dec. Harrison Turnbull (HC) 6-3.

138 – Gannon Griffin (HC) dec. Josh Garrett (N) 4-0.

145 – Jose Luque (N) dec. Austin Wendeborn (HC) 6-3.

152 – Ellis Williams (N) pinned Reggie Jones (HC) 3:33.

160 – James Anderson (HC) pinned William Garrett (N) 1:04.

170 – Tommy Hairston (HC) pinned Deshuen Smith (N) 2:24.

182 – Kiaos Ragsdale (HC) pinned Brandon Wallace (N) 30 sec.

195 – Darius Jones (N) won by forfeit.

220 – Ezra Walker (HC) won by pin 4:36.

285 – Armistead (N) won by forfeit.