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Comets have one final shot at earning tourney berth

The Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball team entered Friday night’s game against Patrick Henry High School with two chances at earning a berth in the Northwest Region Tournament. Now, the Comets’ chances to continue in the post-season playoffs have been reduced to one.

That opportunity will come Tuesday night when the Comets will travel to Roanoke to face William Fleming High School at 7 p.m. in a Western Valley District Tournament consolation game to determine third place in the district and the last of the district’s three berths in the Northwest Region Tournament.

If the Comets defeat William Fleming in Tuesday’s game in Roanoke they will earn the third seed, and will go on the road to play in the first round of the Northwest Region Tournament, which starts Saturday.

Had the Comets won Friday night’s game against Patrick Henry High School, they would have been guaranteed a berth in the regional playoffs, with a possibility of earning the second seed and a home game in the first round of the regional tournament.

With that opportunity having gone by the board, the focus now is on Tuesday’s night’s game against William Fleming High School.

The big key for the Comets is going to be how mentally ready the team will be to face the Colonels, a team that they have split with in their two regular-season meetings.

“A loss like this (the team’s 71-38 loss to Patrick Henry High School Friday night) takes a lot of confidence out of you,” explained Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly in the wake of his team’s loss Friday night in Roanoke.

“We have to regroup mentally more than anything. They (the players) know what the stakes are. The difference between successful players and players that are not successful is how they bounce back from adversity. We’ve got to bounce back.”

Along with regrouping mentally, the Comets are going to have to play well in all facets of the game if they are going to be successful against William Fleming High School in Tuesday night’s game.

“Our margin of error is so small that if one little thing in your game goes amiss we’re going to be in trouble,” Epperly pointed out.

“We have to play solid in all areas to have a chance to win.”

While the Comets are facing William Fleming High School in Roanoke Tuesday night, across town regular-season district champion Patrick Henry High School will be hosting GW of Danville in the district tournament championship game.

GW will have the district’s second seed for the Northwest Region Tournament as Patrick Henry High School locked up the district’s top seed by winning the regular-season championship.