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Preparation the key for Lady Comets

Winning last week’s Holiday Classic gives the Halifax County High School varsity girls basketball team a big boost in confidence and momentum as they begin play in the Western Valley District Wednesday at GW.

Comets Head Coach Billy Lucas, while acknowledging that fact, is also aware the Comets need to be both physically and mentally prepared for tough games each time out if his team is to compete with district foes Franklin County, William Fleming, GW and Patrick Henry high schools this season.

Halifax County enters the GW game with a 7-4 record, and it has been competitive in each of its four losses, but Lucas warned there is little room for error when preparing for the tough Western Valley District.

Wednesday’s district opener leaves even less time for preparation than normal, but Lucas is looking for his team to be up to the challenge of facing the Eagles in Danville.

“The district games are going to be just like the game we played tonight, close, tough games,” Lucas told his team after its grind-it-out win over Person High School in the Holiday Classic championship game.

“I told them the district games are going to be like the way we played tonight,” he said.

“They’re all going to be tough games, I don’t care who it is and what record they have, we go and play any place and it’s going to be a knockdown, dragged out fight for us,” noted Lucas rhetorically.

“There’s no easy game in out district, whatsoever,” Lucas pointed out.

There is room for improvement as the Comets begin district play, Lucas explained, and the Comets need to be more consistent in several areas, especially in offensive and defensive rebounding.

“Boxing out is one of the things we’re going to have to do, because each team we play will have some great post players, and they’re also very athletic,” explained Lucas.

But, boxing out is relatively easy to do, and it requires focus and hustle, added Lucas when talking about rebounding.

“It’s just getting that will to do it every time.  In games we go through spells where we box out great, and then we start watching the ball and not finding anybody.

“It happens both ways for us, but it’s easy to fix, and that’s a good thing.

“We’ll work on it Monday, and we’ll work on it Tuesday, and we’ll continue to work on it before we go to GW.”

Illness and injuries have taken their respective tolls on the Comets thus far, but Lucas is happy with the overall effort his players have given despite the disruption of the Comets’ rotation.

“We’re down to nine (players), and that’s going to be an issue, but the nine we’ve got are really good kids who work hard, play hard and do everything I ask of them,” said Lucas.

“Whenever we get the rest of them in, it’s really going to pick up the team, but the nine we have right now are fighters, and I can’t ask anything more out of them.”