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Comets boys put in good effort, but come up short

Just as it has for most of the season, the Halifax County High School varsity boys soccer team put forth a solid defensive effort at home Tuesday against Patrick Henry.

But, just as is has been for most of the season, the Comets had difficulty on the offensive end, losing 3-0 to a skilled Patriots team that came into the contest leading the Western Valley District.

Patrick Henry did all of its scoring in the second half after the teams fought to a scoreless deadlock in the opening 40 minutes, and Comets’ keeper Miles Claiborne was the primary reason for the deadlock, turning aside 11 shots before intermission.

The senior keeper finished with 18 saves for the contest, with the Patriots out-shooting the Comets 21-1 and taking 15 corner kicks, compared to two for Halifax County (1-9-1).

The Patriots scored at the 38:25 mark, 28:36 mark and 16:09 mark of the second half for the final margin.

“It’s a loss, but last time they beat us 8-0 with time remaining, something like 17 minutes left, so to get this one to the end was an advantage,” said Comets’ Head Coach Frank Shealy.

“The first half, I think Miles had a highlight reel in saves, and a couple of our defensive guys had some saves.

“But, they had four or five shots that missed the post by less than a foot.”

“The first goal was us coming out sluggish,” added Shealy.  “They got a one-on-one against Miles, and he saved a lot of those tonight, but that one kind of snuck by.

“The second goal was kind of the same thing, but when you give a team possession like we did today, eventually they’re going to score.

“And, when you give them about 20 shots to your one or two, it’s kind of inevitable they’re going to win the game, but you have to hand it to the team for their hustle.

“It was 3-0 at halftime up there, and they scored five more in the first 17 minutes in the second half.”

To hold Patrick Henry scoreless in the first half was a testament to his team working hard on the defensive end, Shealy pointed out.

“We really didn’t create any offense tonight, but PH is a talented team, and they control the ball so well.

“To hold them to three, I think we did a good job.”