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HCHS falls in district tourney semifinals


On a night when there was much to gain, the Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball team produced little.

As it has done on two prior occasions, regular-season Western Valley District champion Patrick Henry High School pounded the Comets from the perimeter and rolled up an easy 71-38 win in Friday night’s Western Valley District Tournament semifinals.


Patrick Henry High School (19-4 overall) ripped the Comets’ passive zone defense with 10 three-point buckets, seven coming from guard Marcus Banks who scored a game-high 25 points, and two coming from B.J. Hamlett, who tossed in a dozen points.

“Their guards have killed us all three times we’ve played them,” noted Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.

Number two (Hamlett) had 25 on us the first time we played, Banks had 30 (points) on Monday and 25 tonight. We’ve been guilty of letting their best players beat us three games.”

It wasn’t just a case of Patrick Henry High School’s scoring tandem beating the Comets. With the possibility of locking up a berth in the Northwest Region Tournament with a win, the Comets appeared lethargic, and showed only brief spurts of energy.

While the team was missing two starters, Tavaras Hamlett (food poisoning) and Keema Jones (ankle sprain), the missing players had nothing to do with the team’s passive style of play.

“That (missing two starters) wasn’t our problem,” Epperly pointed out.

“We weren’t mentally into it. Here it is, a playoff game, a meaningful game, and we were just in la la land. We didn’t have any intensity. We played a very soft game of basketball tonight. That’s disappointing.”

“The guys that were out there just didn’t play the way we wanted them to play,” added Epperly.

“We were in a meaningful situation, and we were really disappointed in the effort and the mental concentration that we had out there. I give Patrick Henry all the credit. They came out ready to play, they got after us and made a lot of basketball plays and we didn’t.”

The Comets (8-13 overall) fell behind 5-0 at the outset and were down 14-4 when Ford Bradshaw, who scored 10 points in the game, connected on a 3-point shot at the buzzer to make it a 14-7 game at the end of the first quarter.

PH then went on a 27-2 run in the last 6:20 of the second quarter to extend its lead from nine points to a 37-13 lead at halftime. Banks hit three 3-point shots in that span to help key the Patriots’ run.

Things only got worse after that.

Halifax County trailed 47-19 with 3:42 left in the third quarter and, despite a brief 7-0 run late in the third quarter that included a layup and a 3-pointer form Bradshaw, the Comets trailed 55-28 at the end of the third period.

PH extended its lead to 64-28 before Freddie Edmunds, who led the Comets in scoring with 14 points, rang up five straight points to make the score a more respectable 64-33 with 2:20 left in the contest.

An Edmunds layup with 3.2 seconds left in the game accounted for the final 71-38 score.




Edmunds 6 2-6 14, Johnson 5 0-0 11, Delaware 0 0-0 0, Bradshaw 4 0-0 10, Petty 0 0-0 0, Ford 1 0-0 2, Morrison 0 0-0 0, Brooks 0 1-2 1, Woody 0 0-0 0, Jennings 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 3-8 38



Ogden 0 0-2 0, Crowder 1 0-0 2, Donithan 3 0-0 6, Banks 9 0-1 25, Hamlet 5 0-0 12, Ollie 4 0-0 8, Manning 0 0-0 0, Kirchman 3 0-0 6, Cunningham 0 0-0 0, J.Tucker 2 1-2 5, Robinson 0 0-0 0, Terry 0 0-0 0, Esworthy 2 0-0 5, I.Tucker 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 1-5 71.


Halifax County 7 6 15 10-38

Patrick Henry 14 23 18 16-71

3-point field goals - Halifax County 3 (Bradshaw 2, Johnson 1), Patrick Henry 10 (Banks 7, Hamlet 2, Esworthy 1).

Total fouls - Halifax County 4, Patrick Henry 8. Fouled out - none.