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Halifax staying alive in district

When it comes down to the post-season Western Valley District playoffs picture, it is now a one-game season for the Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball team.

That game comes Friday night when the Comets travel to Rocky Mount to face Franklin County High School in what will be the final regular-season game for the Comets.

The Comets and Franklin County High School are battling for fourth place, the last berth in the four-team Western Valley District Tournament. Entering this week’s action, Franklin County High School has the edge in the battle because it has one district win, that one over the Comets here on Jan. 15.

For the Comets, the picture is simple — they need a win over Franklin County High School Friday night in order to gain a tie for fourth place and force a subsequent playoff game against Franklin County High School to determine fourth place in the standings.

Franklin County High School, however, has three opportunities left in which to pick up a win that would give the Eagles fourth place outright with three Western Valley District games remaining to be played. They face William Fleming High School in Roanoke on Tuesday, face the Comets at home Friday and then face Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke on Tues. Feb. 5.

If Franklin County High School defeats William Fleming High School on Tuesday, it will lock up fourth place, regardless of the outcome of Friday’s game against the Comets.

Should Franklin County High School lose to both William Fleming and Halifax County this week, it could still win fourth place outright with a win over Patrick Henry High School on Feb. 5.

Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly acknowledges this is a big week for his team.

“We’ve just got to keep plugging,” Epperly pointed out.

“It’s going to be a tough road for us. The guys know this is it. They know if we lose Friday we have no chance. If we win it, there will still be a playoff game. They know it’s a tough road ahead.”

Epperly said it’s going to be business as usual this week, starting with tonight’s Senior Night game against Bassett High School. Tonight’s game tips off at 7:30 p.m. at Halifax County High School.

“We’re going to try to beat Bassett here on Monday,” Epperly pointed out.

“The Magna Vista game that had been scheduled for Wednesday has been cancelled, so we’ll stay with our routine, keep doing what we normally do. We’ll use the time between Tuesday and Friday to work on fundamentals and try to get our execution down a little better.”

Epperly said his players still have spirit and energy.

“Our guys have stayed together,” added Epperly.

“They’re a good group. The attitude is good.”

Epperly said he and the team are hoping that they can turn the tables on Franklin County High School this week.

“The Franklin County game at home was one we thought we could win,” Epperly said.

“We let it get away from us. That was a winnable game for us. We led by four at halftime, and felt we were in control of the game. During the key stretch of the game they (Franklin County High School) made some shots and we didn’t. We went cold and they got a little lead and we came up short.”