- Last Updated on 08:13 AM 01/06/14
- BY Doug Ford
Lady Comets’ Head Coach Wayne Murray has said all season the third quarter has proven to be the “make or break” quarter for the varsity girls basketball team.
Instead, it was the first quarter in Friday’s home game against Bassett High School that “broke” the Comets in a 41-33 loss to the Bengals.
A sluggish first quarter saw the Comets (1-4 Piedmont District, 5-6 overall) take a 3-0 lead on Alexia Tucker’s 3-pointer, only to see Bassett finish the quarter with an 11-3 lead.
Halifax found a little rhythm in the second quarter to close the gap to 18-14 at halftime, with Lakia Martin scoring six of her team-high 14 points.
Janiyah Logan added a 3-pointer and Brittani Boxley a field goal for Halifax in the second period, and the rally continued in the third quarter where the Comets got to within one point twice, the first on two foul shots by Logan and the second on a basket by Mecca Carter.
Bassett led 26-23 entering the fourth quarter, where the Comets mounted a final rally closing to within 32-29 on baskets from Boxley and Martin with 3:17 remaining.
Halifax could get no closer, missing two shots at the basket on the same possession, and allowing Bassett to rebound its own missed free throw opportunities twice in the last minute of the contest.
The Bengals were 8-10 from the foul line in the final 1:30 to close the game out.
Bassett Coach Melissa Blair was happy with the win but not so pleased with how her team played, particularly with their work on the boards.
“I don’t feel like we were rebounding well early on, but Halifax played a really good game tonight,” said Blair.
“We were just really flat, but a lot of that was due to Halifax playing really well.
“We missed tons of layups, and it just wasn’t one of our better nights.”
“We have a big rest of the month, three games each week, so we have to get ready for those,” she added.
“I’m just glad we got the win, and we’ll take it.”
Murray liked the way his team rallied from the sluggish start but wasn’t pleased with the turnovers and other mistakes that cost the Comets a chance at the win.
“We turned the ball over, and then when we made a play we couldn’t get the rebound,” said Murray.
“Rebounding and turnovers hurt us, and the first quarter hurt us, too.
“We ended up losing by eight, and they outscored us by eight points in the first quarter.”
Turnovers stymied both teams most of the game, Murray observed, but the Comets suffered from a number of unforced turnovers, Murray pointed out.
“A girl misses a free throw and we can’t get the rebound, and we can’t give teams two or three opportunities at the basket or the free throw line.
“We have to take advantage of that, and we didn’t tonight.”