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Comets see good numbers in JV tryouts

Coaches for the Halifax County High School junior varsity boys and junior varsity girls basketball teams were greeted with good numbers Monday as the teams held their opening session of tryouts and practice.

Comets JV Boys Head Coach Nathan Lantor was greeted by 25 players, while 15 players were on hand to join first-year Comets Junior Varsity Girls Head Coach David Graham and Assistant Coach Misty Lloyd on opening day.

Lantor will be starting from scratch with the Comets junior varsity boys team, with no returning players from last season’s team.

“I am not returning any players from last year’s team, so there will be all new faces this season,” Lantor pointed out.

“The kids worked extremely well, showing a lot of effort in drills and team play. All of the perspective players seem to have good attitudes and want to be a part of the Comets basketball program.”

As is the case with Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Larry Epperly, Lantor is facing a time crunch with a good deal of teaching to be done and a short time to do it.

“Final cuts will be after Wednesday’s tryouts,” Lantor said.

“I hate to cut anyone, but I prefer to keep 12 players to be able to manage the team efficiently and to be able to teach the players effectively.” 

As far as the junior varsity girls teams is concerned, Graham and Lloyd find themselves in a similar position to that of Lantor in terms of not having a core group of experienced players to rely upon.

Still, Graham’s first impressions were positive, despite a low number of returning players.

“I like the enthusiasm, the hustle and the desire to want to learn, the jayvee program to me is about teaching good fundamentals,” said Graham.

“We base our practices on developing fundamentals to prepare them for the next level, and I was very impressed with the girls’ attention spans and wanting to learn.

“They did a great job today, and I really enjoyed the first day of practice.”

Graham and Lloyd focused on dribbling, passing and shooting drills the first day of practice to get them a feel of what they have on hand.

“We were just going through several drills to see what we’ve got and what we’ve got to work on,” explained Graham, who added 

“Half of these girls have been coming to open practice the last month to month and a half.

“They’ve been working with Coach Lucas for the past month to month and a half, so a lot of them know what they need to do.”

“That’s why it was such a good practice,” continued Graham.

“I had a couple of other girls come out who I think will be really good.

“The energy level is there, and they really want to go out there and play basketball.”

Several girls trying out played for Graham at the middle school last year, so the adjustment will be easier for them, but the others seem to understand what the coaches are teaching, according to Graham.

“We want to learn fundamentals and play as a team, and I have a good assistant in Missy Lloyd.

“She took some groups and worked with them, and I think she earned their respect today as well.

“We’re looking for a great year.  Coach Lucas and that staff have helped us out a lot.

“They’ve been very kind to go out of their way and help us start off on the right foot.

“It’s looking to be a good year so far.”