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Lady Comets advance to Holiday Tournament title game

The Halifax County High School varsity girls basketball team converted good defense into good offense and advanced to the Halifax County High School Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament championship game with a 61-20 win over Park View High School on Thursday.

Halifax County faces long-time rival Person High School for the tournament championship at 6 p.m. Friday evening, the Rockets advancing with a 50-35 win over Gretna High School.

Three Comets hit double figures against Park View, Alexia Tucker and Che’Lese Bowman leading the way with 11 points apiece and Brittani Boxley adding 10, while Lakia Martin and Ashley Hill each had eight points.

Sheraine Claughton scored six points, Danyelle Edmonds four points and Janiyah Logan two points, while Bri’Ana Pierce chipped in a made foul shot, part of a 13-18 effort for the Comets at the charity stripe.

Briana Rogers led Park View with seven points, while Brittany Whitby had five points, Dare’ Wright four points and Yadasia Clements and Jacobre Maupin two points apiece.

The Comets got a pair of 3-point baskets from Bowman and one from Tucker, and Whitby and Rogers each canned a 3-pointer for Park View.

The effort and the execution were both there against Park View, and it resulted in a big win, according to Comets Head Coach Billy Lucas.

“The girls played great, and they played hard all night,” Lucas noted.

“At the beginning, we didn’t execute as well being off for a period of time, but once we settled down and started executing everything fell into line and we got the victory tonight.”

A 15-0 run to end the first quarter gave the Comets an 18-2 lead, and things grew progressively worse for the visiting Dragons, with Halifax going on a 13-0 run to end the second quarter and taking a 34-4 lead at halftime.

By that point, Halifax had forced 18 Park View turnovers while committing only four of its own, and the lead grew to as much as 53-11 with a quarter remaining after the Comets outscored the Dragons 19-7 in the third period.

By that point, Lucas had begun rotating players off his bench to conserve energy for Friday’s championship game.

Having a large early lead was a bonus, Lucas explained.

“We were able to get up and not have to press the whole game, which is a good thing, especially since we’re down to nine players due to injuries and other things,” Lucas said.

“It’s a big help whenever you don’t have to play a pressure style, especially when you have back-to-back games.”

Lucas was especially pleased with his team’s defensive effort against the Dragons.

“We were able to get a lot accomplished tonight, work on a lot of things, and I was really pleased with everything,” he added.

“We held Park View to four points in the first half, and that’s phenomenal no matter who you’re playing, two points in the first quarter and two points in the second quarter.

“Being able to do that is great.  In the third quarter we didn’t commit a single foul, and we were still playing hard defense in our half court set.

“Those are things that were really good to see that we can build off of for the future.”