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Comets ‘win’ scrimmage, face big test Saturday

Halifax County High School head basketball coach Larry Epperly was upbeat about his team following Tuesday night’s scrimmage with Dan River High School.

Playing their first pre-season scrimmage, the Comets “won” all five quarters on the scoreboard and looked pretty good in doing it.

“For the first time out, I’m pleased,” Epperly said.

“We talked before the game, and we knew there were going to be some mistakes. We wanted the guys to play hard, compete and get on to the next play. We wanted to play a lot of people and look at some different combinations. It was a very good outing for us.”

With Tuesday night’s solid outing under their belts, the Comets will move on to their second and final pre-season test on Saturday, traveling to Richmond to scrimmage defending state champion Henrico and Cosby High School.

“The competition is going to be a lot greater,” Epperly pointed out.

“Henrico is the defending state champion, and Cosby is very good. We’ll find out where we are for sure because the competition is going to be really good.

“We open up Tuesday (against Person (N.C.) High School),” Epperly continued, “and it’s really important that we get a gauge on who can handle pressure, who can do certain things and can we rebound against big people. We’ll find all of that out Saturday.” 

The Comets’ outside shooting was impressive in Tuesday night’s scrimmage against Dan River High School, with the team canning a dozen three-points from the perimeter through the first four quarters. Tavion Petty nailed six three-point shots as part of his big 22-point effort. Will Miller nailed two treys while scoring 11 points and Trevon Brandon, Keyshawn Johnson, Justin Williams and Kevon Tucker all had one each through the first four periods.

“One of the strengths of our team is shooting,” Epperly pointed out.

“I think we’re going to be able to shoot the ball pretty well.”

The good shooting translated to good numbers on the scoreboard. The Comets scored no less than 13 points in any of the first four quarters, with that coming in the final quarter.

Halifax County topped Dan River 15-7 in the first eight-minute period and outscored the Wildcats 14-13, 18-16 and 13-10 in the next three quarters. The total score was 60-46. The teams played a fifth quarter, with the Comets topping the Wildcats 19-8 in the final period.

One concern Epperly had entering the scrimmage was rebounding. However, the Comets matched up well against Dan River size-wise and held their own on the boards.

“I thought we rebounded okay,” Epperly remarked.

“That was a concern. I thought Will (Miller) and James (Burden) rebounded the ball real well in there.”

As far as attitude and spirit went, the Comets had a positive demeanor all night.

“I thought we had a good spirit,” Epperly noted.

“I thought the guys competed and played really hard. Guys on the bench were into it. Everybody got to play a lot. It’s off to a good start.”

In looking at the scoring through the first four quarters, after Petty’s 22 points and 11 points from Miller, the Comets got nine points from Keyshawn Johnson, five points from Brandon, four points each from Tucker and James Smith Jr., three points from Williams and two points from Trelanne Johnson.