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Lady Comets on track with new coach

It’s been a step-by-step process for Wayne Murray in his first year as head coach for the Halifax County High School varsity girls basketball team.

The roster has been set at 12 players for the Lady Comets, who entertain Bluestone High School tonight in a pre-season scrimmage.

The roster includes three returning seniors, Alexia Tucker, Ashley Hill and Janiyah Logan, and one senior newcomer, Laniqua Farmer.

Also returning to the varsity are junior Brittani Boxley and sophomore Lakia Martin.

New to the varsity lineup are juniors Trinity Owen, Rikisa Johnson, Kye-Neisha Logan and Kaylen Palmer, sophomore Mecca Carter and freshman Asia Carter.

“We have the five who are returning and spent right much time playing on the varsity last year,” noted Murray.

“They seem to be well adjusted to what’s going on, and it looks like they’re going to be our main players and help us out a lot.”

One task Murray and assistant coaches Jennifer Rutledge and Suzanne O‘Hara are trying to accomplish in practice is build additional depth.  

“I’m looking for the next three who will step up and help us out,” said Murray.

“I’m trying to get the “B” squad to make the “A” squad a little better at this point.”

About 29 girls combined tried out for the varsity and jayvee teams, including a few players new to the Comets basketball program, according to Murray.

Those numbers were better than what he had expected, he added.

“We pulled a couple of jayvee girls up and sent a couple back to the jayvee squad,” said Murray.

“Twelve is a comfortable number for me, because I like to give everybody an opportunity to play, and with 15 it sometimes gets a little hard to get everybody in and out every night.”

Practice is progressing smoothly, Murray added.

“The girls seem to be buying in to what we want to do, and they’ve been executing some of the plays against each other and see that they work,” said Murray.

“They’re starting to buy into it more and focus on it more.

“I asked them about the last couple of years, and I took some of the things they said into consideration when I made plans about what I was going to do.”

Murray has set some objectives for today’s scrimmage.

“I want to see the effort there, see us play as a team and go out and play with the same intensity as if it were the first game of the season or the last game of the season,” said Murray

“I want us to come out with fire and do the things we are capable of doing.

“I have a couple of girls who are really strong in practice, and I want to see if they are really strong in the game.

“I have a couple who may not be practice players but may be gamers.

“We’ll wait and see, and hopefully some of that will come out.”

“The scrimmage lets me see them against other competition and see how they stand at this point,” continued Murray.

“Things have been going well, and hopefully we’ll continue to improve and get better as the season goes on.

“Right now, we’re still trying to get a feel for everybody.  They’re trying to feel me out, and I’m trying to fell them out.

“Things are moving in a positive direction.”