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Turnovers bite Comets in loss

When you turn the ball over and you can’t make shots, you don’t win basketball games.


That was the case for Halifax County High School Monday night in a 60-50 loss to Heritage High School in Lynchburg.

Monday night’s game marked the second game in a row in which the turnover bug bit the Comets, and did it on a night on which they had difficulty in scoring. The Comets shot a miserly 28 percent from the floor in last Friday night’s loss to Person (N.C.) High School and didn’t improve upon that a great deal against the Pioneers.

The turnovers hurt the most, though, as the Pioneers got a number of easy breakaway layups off of Comets miscues.

Adding to the Comets’ struggles was a lack of defensive rebounding.

“We were our own worst enemy,” remarked Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly after the loss that dropped the Comets’ record to 1-2 on the season entering tonight’s home game against Martinsville High School.

“It was definitely the most disappointing night we’ve had this year in terms of being able to execute and play the right way. I was disappointed with our carelessness with the ball, and just throwing it to them (Heritage). I was sitting there a couple of times wondering if we’d ever practiced. It didn’t look like we were very organized.”

The bulk of the Comets’ scoring came from Keyshawn Johnson and Dakota Delaware, both of whom finished with 13 points, and from Trelanne Johnson, who chipped in 10 points. The trio accounted for 36 of the team’s 50 points.

Many of the turnovers came in the second half, ruining what had been a decent first half for the Comets. Halifax County trailed 6-5 after a slow first quarter for both teams, and took the lead for the second time in the game on a basket by Keyshawn Johnson.

Halifax County fell behind 10-7 but rallied to regain the lead at 15-13 with three-point baskets from Keyshawn Johnson and Trelanne Johnson and a basket from James Burden.

The Comets led 20-16 with 1:40 left in the first half, but six unanswered points by the Pioneers in the final 1:12 of the half gave the Pioneers a 22-20 edge at halftime.

An 8-1 run by the Pioneers in the first one minute and five seconds of the second half gave them a nine-point edge. The Comets’ Tavion Petty hit a three-point shot, his only field goal of the night, with 6:30 left in the third quarter to cut his team’s deficit to six points.

A three-point shot and a layup in back-to-back possessions gave the Pioneers an 11-point edge at 35-24 with 5:35 left in the third quarter. That spelled the beginning of the end for the Comets.

Halifax County scored only one basket in the final three minutes of the third quarter, that one Dakota Delaware, as the Comets fell behind by 14 points and entered the fourth quarter trailing 43-31.

The Comets fell behind by 17 points before mounting a late flurry. Two baskets from Delaware and a three-point play from Trelanne Johnson allowed the Comets to cut their deficit to 12 points at 55-43 with 3:42 left in the game.

Unfortunately, the late flurry didn’t stick. Heritage High School built its lead back to 15 points before the Comets outscored the Pioneers 7-0 in the final minute and a half to make the final 10-point margin.