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Comets extend streak of wins

In most instances, Halifax County High School’s outside shooting has been the key to its success.

This time, it was the Comets’ ability to score inside that made the difference.

Leaning on the passing of Trelanne Johnson and the inside play of James Burden in the second half, Halifax County High School broke open a close game and chalked up a 65-50 win over Bassett High School Friday night in Bassett.

Burden scored 21 of his game-high 26 points in the second half, getting a big boost from the passing of Johnson, who finished the night with 13 rebounds, seven assists and nine points.

“Every time Trelanne saw me he gave it (the ball) to me,” Burden pointed out.

“It wasn’t just Trelanne, everybody gave me the ball. I don’t know how I got open sometimes, but they got it to me.”

The game was a little different for Johnson, who normally finds a way to generate some offensive power. When he found himself struggling offensively, he turned his efforts more toward rebounding and passing. Burden and his teammates were big benefactors.

“My offense wasn’t working tonight,” Johnson noted.

“I wasn’t in rhythm, so I just rebounded the ball and gave James, Keyshawn and Tavion shots. As long as I could give somebody else a shot it was good because mine wasn’t there.”

Many of Johnson’s passes went to Burden down low, and Burden sliced up the Bengals’ defense, scoring four field goals in the third quarter and five in the fourth quarter, all down low inside.

“James is real strong on the blocks,” Johnson pointed out.

“Nobody is going to push him out of there. I got him the ball and he scored.”

Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly said the outside-inside approach with the play of Johnson and Burden was the key to his team’s ability to break open the game in the first five and a half minutes of the second half.

“The passes from Trelanne were the key,” Epperly said.

“We were trying to play high-low, and guys were able to get James the ball. It’s hard to get the ball inside sometimes, and we were fortunate to be able to do that and James finished.”

Friday night’s win, the sixth in a row for the Comets, put the Comets at 9-2 on the season and 4-1 in Piedmont District play. The win allowed the Comets to equal the team’s win total of the past two seasons with 11 regular-season games remaining on the schedule.

The Comets had their hands full early on, struggling with missed shots and turnovers. Bassett led 8-3 after the first three minutes, and the Comets didn’t take the lead for the first time until Burden scored inside with 4:28 left in the second quarter. 

Bassett High School quickly regained the lead, and it wasn’t until Tavion Petty, who finished with 13 points and hit the second of his trio of 3-pointers in the half with 2:52 left in the second quarter, that the Comets took the lead for good. Petty’s basket triggered a 9-2 run that gave the Comets a 27-20 lead at halftime. 

Halifax County led by as many as a dozen points in the third quarter, and extended their cushion down the stretch in the final period to secure the win. 

“It took some patience because we really struggled early,” Epperly pointed out.

“We had a couple of turnovers, missed a lot of shots, just weren’t very sharp, almost to the point of being a little sloppy. 

“We’d have liked to have done some things better,” he added, “but it’s a road win and they’re hard to come by.”