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Comets overwhelm Patrick County 69-25

After having given away a win Wednesday night, the Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball team was not in a particularly giving mood in Friday night's Piedmont District game against Patrick County High School.

The Comets got themselves back on track with an easy 69-25 win over Patrick County High School, a win that gave the team 10 wins for the season, the most wins a Comets team has had in at least three seasons. 

"Tonight was just a classification deal," Comets Head Coach Larry Epperly said in reference to the talent disparity between the two teams and the size disparity between the much smaller Patrick County High School and Halifax County High School.

"We played well and we're just so much better right now. I think everybody there (in the stands) saw the tremendous talent advantage in our favor."

Patrick County High School offered little resistance for the Comets.

With five different players scoring, the Comets raced out to a 14-2 lead at the end of the first quarter and expanded their early lead to 24-2 on a basket by Will Miller with 4:38 left in the first half. Miller's basket capped a 10-0 Comets run that started the second quarter.

Leading 37-9 at halftime, the Comets continued to roll in the second half. Halifax County High School outscored the Cougars 20-10 in the third quarter, with Trelanne Johnson scoring eight of the 20 points, giving the Comets a 57-19 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

An 8-2 run by the Comets to kick off the fourth quarter, a run capped by a 3-point bucket from reserve Quentin Jennings, gave the Comets a 65-21 edge with 4:11 left in the contest.

From there, it was simply a matter of a cleanup operation for the Comets reserves. When the game ended, everyone on the Comets team had played quality minutes and 10 of the 12 players scored.

Trelanne Johnson led the Comets with 13 points and James Smith Jr followed with 12 points. Miller chipped in eight points and Tavion Petty finished with seven points.

"This was good for momentum going into next week's district games," noted Petty.

"It's good when everybody scores and gets to shine. A win is a win. As long as you win, especially in a district game, you can't complain."

Miller, who had one of his better games of the season, said it's important to keep the win in perspective.

"You can't really afford to get too high over this win," Miller pointed out.

"You just need to stay humble, try to get better every day."

Smith concurred.

"We've got to keep playing hard," remarked the Comets freshman guard.

"We've got to keep up the teamwork, playing together as a team."

One of the things Epperly was hoping to take away from the game was finding an eighth and possibly ninth player to add to what has basically been a seven-player rotation for much of the season.

"We've been searching to see who is going to fill that eighth man in the rotation," Epperly explained.

"I really wanted to get a lot of guys some minutes to evaluate some of them to see as we go down the stretch who can we count on to be that eighth man in the rotation. I think that is something that will be important for us.

"The thing you worry about," Epperly continued, "is we got a little out of our chemistry Wednesday and we wanted to try to get it back tonight. Unfortunately, a lot of guys didn't get a lot of minutes. But, I think we learned some things about our bench. We have a week coming up when we will have four games in a week, and we're going to have to use our bench. I thought tonight was very important in trying to establish who we will go to in that stretch."