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GW rolls over Comets 89-73 in district opener

Halifax County High School Head Coach Larry Epperly summed it up the best when he said Wednesday night "we're our own worst enemy."

The Comets, indeed, were their own worst enemy, committing 24 turnovers in an 89-73 loss to arch-rival GW of Danville Wednesday night at Halifax County High School in the Western Valley District opener for both teams.

"We're not going to win until we take care of the ball," Epperly said.

"You can't win turning the ball over 24 or 25 times a game. We've seen it all year long. Here we are in our twelfth game and it's still a problem. We do everything you can imagine trying to work on it. It just doesn't get any better."

Despite 12 turnovers in the first half, the Comets were able to keep the game close, rallying from a seven-point deficit to tie the game at 31-31 on a pair of free throws from James Burden with 1:14 left in the first half.

GW forged ahead with a three-pointer from Jamarcus Hairston with 43 seconds left, only to see the Comets' Tavion Petty bury a three-point shot with 26 seconds left in the half that allowed the Comets to finish the opening half with a 34-34 deadlock.

Petty, who led the Comets in scoring with 23 points in the game, buried two three-point shots in the second quarter as he scored eight of the Comets' 14 second-quarter points. He sank four more three-pointers in the second half.

While the Comets were having issues with turnovers, GW was slow getting on target with its shooting. After hitting their first two three-point shots in the game to take a 6-0 lead in the first minute of the game, the Eagles missed 16 three-point shots in a row before Hairston sank one in the closing minute of the first half.

Things turned sour for the Comets quickly in the second half. The Comets victimized themselves with turnovers in two of their first three possessions of the second half and GW capitalized with a three-pointer from Tamario Rodgers, a dunk from Chris Burton and a three-pointer from Kyshawn Jones as part of an 8-3 run that produced a 42-37 lead with 6:47 left in the third quarter.

A 9-0 GW run in the middle of the quarter capped by a three-point shot and a dunk from Kyshawn Jones put the Eagles up 53-39 with 3:17 left in the third quarter. The Comets fell behind by as many as 20 points before the third quarter ended with the Comets trailing 67-48.

Halifax County made a run at GW with a 9-0 binge early in the fourth quarter. Dakota Delaware converted a three-point play to start the run, and Petty sank back-to-back three-point baskets to bring the Comets to within 10 points at 71-61 with just over six minutes left in the game.

GW broke the Comets' run with a pair of baskets to extend its lead back out to 15 points with 4:53 left in the game. The closest the Comets got after that was 12 points when Keyshawn Johnson converted a three-point play with 1:17 left in the game.

"The positive is that we battled," Epperly pointed out.

"The guys are trying. GW was 10 deep and could run 10 people at you. They (GW) come at you in waves. We have only six or seven. Our guys are hanging in there. We've just got to learn to play a little smarter."

The Comets had four players to reach double figures as they produced the most points they have tallied in any game thus far this season. Following Petty's 23-point performance were Keyshawn Johnson with 14 points and Delaware and Burden with 12 points each. Trelanne Johnson chipped in eight points.

GW, which remained undefeated with the win, was led by Kyshawn Jones with 16 points. Jarod Williams was next in line with 15 points.