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Comets need win Monday night to lock up tourney berth

When Halifax County High School needed a crucial win over Franklin County High here Friday night to stay in the chase for a berth in the Western Valley District Tournament it got it.

Scoring the most points the team has scored in any game this season, the Comets held off Franklin County High School 74-67 to retain a shot at making the field for next week’s district tournament.

“We haven’t put up that many points in a long time,” pointed out Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.

“We were able to score a little bit, and that was good. It was a game we needed (to win) and the guys responded.”

The Comets (8-11, 3-4 district) must now face another critical game tonight.

Halifax County High School will host regular-season district champion Patrick Henry High School tonight at 7:30 p.m. in what will be the final game of the regular season for both teams.

A win by the Comets in tonight’s Senior Night game will put the Comets in a three-way tie for second place in the district standings and will guarantee them a berth in the district tournament, which begins Friday.

On the other hand, a loss to Patrick Henry High School tonight will put the Comets in a tie for fourth place, and will necessitate a play-in game between the Comets and Franklin County High School that will be scheduled for either Tuesday night or Wednesday night at a site to be determined.

“We just need to win,” said Epperly.

“It’s in our hands. We’ve just got to take care of what we can.”

The Comets entered Friday night’s game against Franklin County High School with a chance to finish in a tie for second place in the district standings with wins over the Eagles and Patrick Henry High School.

But, a William Fleming High School win over Patrick Henry High School Friday night in Roanoke took that opportunity away from the Comets.

“Going into the game, we knew we could finish anywhere from second to last,” Epperly noted.

“We were hoping PH could take care of that game and we could get to Monday with a chance to win, and, if we do that, finish in a tie for second place. You can only control what you can control. We need to play well Monday and take care of that game and see what happens.”

The Comets had their most balanced scoring night of the season in Friday’s game against Franklin County High School. Freddie Edmunds led the team with 21 points, a dozen of them coming in the second half.

Ford Bradshaw followed with 17 points, Tavaras Hamlett chipped in 12 points, Dakota Delaware scored 11 points and Keemna Jones added 10 points to put all five Comets starters in double figures.

The Comets used a great start to help propel them to the win. Holding Franklin County to just two points in the last three minutes and 53 seconds of the first quarter, the Comets held a 21-11 lead after the first eight minutes of action.

After a basket from Bradshaw, the Comets led 34-19 with 2:42 left in the first half, and led 39-30 at halftime.

“We knew it was important in this game to get the lead,” Epperly said.

“If you don’t get the lead and you’re playing a zone (defense), people will hold the ball on you. We (the coaching staff) talked (with the players) about the importance of getting off to a good start and it happened.”

Franklin County High School chipped away at the Comets’ lead in the second half, but never gained the lead in the ballgame. The Eagles cut the Comets’ lead to three points on two occasions, the last coming when the Eagles’ Troy Lambert hit a three-point bucket with 17.4 seconds left in the game.

Forced to foul, the Eagles fouled Bradshaw with 14 seconds left. Bradshaw sank both of his free throw attempts to give the Comets at 72-67 lead, and Edmunds capped the game with a layup after Franklin County missed its final shot of the game to seal the seven-point win.

Bradshaw was 7-8 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter and was 9-10 at the charity stripe for the game.

“You have to make your free throws, especially at the end,” Epperly pointed out.

“Ford made a lot of them. We put the ball in his hands. We knew they (Franklin County High School) would have to foul. He went up there and made them.”





Ellis 0 0-0 0 0

Phillips 4 0-1 5 8

Flynn 2 2-3 4 7

Lambert 1 0-0 2 3

Blankenship 8 6-8 1 26

Clements 5 2-2 2 15

Adams 4 0-0 2 8

Harper 0 0-0 0 0

Totals 24 10-1416 67




Bradshaw 4 9-10 2 17

Edmunds 10 1-5 4 21

Delaware 5 1-3 3 11

Jones 4 0-0 3 10

Petty 1 0-0 0 3

Hamlett 4 3-7 2 12

Totals 28 14-25 14 74


Three-Point Field Goals: Jones (HC) 2, Petty (HC) 1, Hamlett (HC) 1, Witcher (FC) 4, Clements (FC) 3, Flynn (FC) 1, Lambert (FC) 1.


Franklin County 11 19 15 22-67

Halifax County 21 18 14 21-74