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Season ends for Comets boys varsity basketball


The bottom line was simple — win and the season continues — lose and the season ends.

For Halifax County High School the season is over.


Fighting a dearth in rebounding, the Comets lost to William Fleming High School 63-43 Tuesday night in Roanoke in a Western Valley District Tournament consolation game to determine the district’s third seed for this weekend’ Northwest Region Tournament.

With the win, William Fleming High School earned the district’s third seed and will go on the road to face an opponent from the Commonwealth District in Saturday’s opening-round regional tournament game.

“It’s frustrating to have it (the season) end,” remarked Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly after the loss that left the Comets with a final 9-14 slate for the season.

“The bottom line is we just didn’t get it done.”

William Fleming High School (14-9 overall) used its control of the boards to help propel itself into the Northwest Region Tournament. The Colonels out-rebounded the Comets 42-21, with the big difference coming on the Colonels’ offensive end of the floor.

“They (William Fleming High School) got every loose ball and every rebound,” Epperly pointed out.

“We just couldn’t get a rebound. Then, we broke down a couple of times on our defensive assignments and let them get right to the rim.”

Despite the rebounding issues, the Comets kept the game close, leading 11-8 at the end of the first quarter and holding a 19-16 edge after Tavion Petty connected on a 3-point shot with three minutes and nine seconds left in the first half.

Aided by a pair of Comets turnovers and a steal, William Fleming High School bounced back with a 7-0 run that put the Colonels up 23-19. Two baskets by the Comets in the final minute, one from Ford Bradshaw, who scored eight points in his final game in a Comets uniform, and another from Petty, who also scored eight points in the contest, deadlocked the game at 23-23 at halftime.

“We were happy to be tied at halftime,” Epperly said.

“We told the players at halftime that we’re tied and said to them we were up 10 (points) if we take care of the boards and loose balls. Then, it (the lack of rebounding) continued.”

With Delaware, Shaquille Ford and Freddie Edmunds each chipping in, the Comets bolted to a 29-25 lead in the first minute and a half of the third quarter. The momentum began to shift with a 9-0 run by the Colonels midway through the period, a run that netted the Colonels a 34-29 lead.

The Comets fell behind by seven points before four unanswered points by Edmunds, who led the Comets in scoring with 12 points, got the Comets back to within three points at 38-35 with 1:54 left in the quarter. William Fleming scored seven unanswered points before the third quarter ended, and led 45-35 heading into the final eight-minute period.

Halifax County High School’s situation deteriorated early in the fourth quarter. With the Comets trailing 47-37, the Colonels took advantage of three straight Comets turnovers to mount a 7-0 run that produced a 54-37 lead with 5:48 left in the game.

At that point, the game was all but done for the Comets.

“We had some turnovers and it led to some easy baskets (for William Fleming High School) on the other end,” Epperly pointed out.

“Our shot selection wasn’t real good. We took some bad shots that set off some fast breaks (for William Fleming High School). We didn’t have a lot of patience on offense.

“We didn’t have much juice in the second half. Maybe our legs were gone or something, I don’t know. It’s unfortunate because we knew this was a meaningful game, that the winner was going to get to keep playing.”



HALIFAX COUNTY: Bradshaw 3 1-3 8, Edmunds 5 2-4 12, Ford 2 3-4 7, Delaware 2 0-0 4, Petty 3 0-0 8, Johnson 1 2-4 4, Jones 0 0-0 0, Brooks 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 8-15 43.

WILLIAM FLEMING: Richardson 5 0-0 10, Law 7 3-5 17, Craft 4 0-0 9, Caldwell 2 0-0 5, Manning 0 1-2 1, Robertson 5 1-2 11, Casey 2 0-0 5, Bonds 2 0-0 4, Walker 0 1-2 1, Shorter 0 0-0 0, Jennings 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 6-11 63.


Halifax County 11 12 12 8-43

William Fleming 8 15 22 18-63


Three-point goals: Halifax County 3 (Petty 2, Bradshaw) William Fleming 3 (Craft, Caldwell, Casey).

Total Fouls: Halifax County 12, William Fleming 14.

Fouled Out: None. Technical Fouls – Ford (HC).