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Comets upend E.C. Glass 65-52 in home opener

There was a time early in Tuesday night's home opener that Tavion Petty wasn't feeling all that great about the kind of night that may be in store.

He missed a couple of shots in the first quarter, and wasn't all that confident about how much offensive help he would be able to provide to help his team topple the E.C. Glass Hilltoppers, especially after hitting only one shot in the first quarter.

"After the first quarter, I was kind of leaning toward it was going to be a bad night," the Comets sophomore guard remarked.

Fortunately for Petty and the Comets that feeling went away in the second half.

Petty erupted for 17 points in the second half and finished with a game-high 25 points to help lead the Comets to a 65-52 win.

"I felt good in warm-ups before the start of the second half " Petty explained.

"Coach (Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly) said 'you have to go strong.' Coach told me to just keep playing my game, and not take bad shots. I just kept shooting."

Petty made some key plays for the Comets in the third quarter, the first coming when he converted a three-point play in the Comets' fourth possession of the second half to extend his team's five-point halftime lead to eight points at 28-20. Two offensive fouls and a missed shot had preceded Petty's play.

Twenty one seconds later, Petty sank a layup after a steal to extend the Comets' lead to  10 points at 30-20.

E.C. Glass' Akeem Jones answered with a three-pointer and Petty tossed in a trey to put the Comets up by 10 points a second time. The Hilltoppers' Jermaine Mayo answered Petty's three-pointer with one of his own only to see Petty come right back with a layup.

The Hilltoppers cut the Comets' lead to four points with 2:26 left in the third quarter, and that was as close as they would get the rest of the way. An eight-foot jumper by Petty followed by a three-pointer from Keyshawn Johnson put the Comets up by nine points.

E.C. Glass pulled to within six points early in the fourth quarter on a dunk by center Karl Overstreet. Petty answered by converting a three-point play with 6:35 left in the game to put the Comets up by nine points.

With a solid defensive effort down the stretch and Keyshawn Johnson going a perfect eight-for-eight at the charity stripe over the final five minutes, the Comets held their own the rest of the way to seal the 65-52 win.

"It's always good to get the first one," Epperly said.

"I thought our kids really competed. Our defense was stifling at times. We got some steals and was really accurate and precise in our slides in the zone defense. The only thing they really got on us tonight was they made some three-pointers and got some breakaway steals off of us that we've got to correct."

Along with Petty's 25 points, the Comets got 13 points from Johnson, eight points from Kevon Tucker and James Burden and Dakota Delaware each scored six points.