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Cold-shooting Comets fall to Rockets 55-33

ROXBORO, N.C. Tavion Petty and his Halifax County High School teammates shot the ball pretty well in Tuesday night's win over E.C. Glass. But, they had a difficult time in hitting the mark here Friday night against Person (N.C.) High School.

Petty managed only two points, and only one player, reserve guard Trelanne Johnson, came close to reaching double figures in the scoring column as the Comets fell to the Rockets 55-33 here at Person High School.

"I liked our team tonight," said Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly.

"We competed. We just didn't make any shots. We held them to 55 points. If we had made some shots, we're right there."

The Comets scored less than 10 points in each of the first three quarters and scored eight  of their 33 points from the foul line.

"We just could not score the ball," Epperly pointed out.

"We missed easy shots. We got what we wanted. We missed around the rim, we missed open jump shots, it (the ball) just would not go in."

The Comets trailed 17-3 after the first five minutes of the game and trailed 21-8 at the end of the first quarter after Dakota Delaware hit a layup with a minute to go in the period.

Both teams were stagnant in terms of scoring in the second quarter, but the Comets were scoreless through the first three minutes and trailed 26-8 before James Burden hit a shot from deep in the lane to make it 26-10. Person High led by 20 points twice and took a 32-14 lead into the halftime break.

The Comets' inability to find the basket continued into the second half. Kevon Tucker broke the ice for the Comets, hitting a 10-foot jumper on the team's opening possession.   Halifax County went almost three minutes before scoring again, and fell behind by 20 points for the third time in the game.

The Comets' first real flurry of the night came just past the mid-point of the third quarter. Trailing 36-16, the Comets got a bucket from Johnson with 3:49 left in the period, got a pair of free throws from Evin Morrison and got a layup from Johnson off of a steal to trim the Rockets' lead to 14 points at 36-22.

Back-to-back turnovers ended the Comets' run, and with no points over the final two minutes, the Comets trailed 44-22 at the end of three quarters.

Halifax County held the Rockets (4-0 overall) scoreless for the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, but all they could muster on the scoreboard was a free throw from Morrison, two free throws from Johnson and a basket from Burden, all of which combined to bring the Comets to within 17 points at 44-27.

The Comets scored only five points in the final four minutes of the game, three of which came on a three-point shot that T.J. Brooks banked into the basket at the final buzzer to make the 55-33 final score.

While it may not appear that way on the surface, the Comets did a good job defensively, holding the undefeated Rockets to 55 points, their lowest point total through their first four games.

"Defensively, 55 points is good enough to win," Epperly pointed out.

"We did some nice things. We just could not make a basket."

Johnson led the Comets with eight points and Burden and Brooks followed with five points each.

The Rockets were led by standout Tyrone Outlaw Jr., who had a game-high 22 points, snared 12 of his team's 43 rebounds. Outlaw, one of the top 15 high school basketball players in North Carolina, added five assists and blocked three shots. He signed two weeks ago to continue his basketball career at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Devin Scoggins was next in line in scoring for the Rockets with eight points.