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Comet girls show signs of being competitive

South Boston News
Ella Morrison goes strong for the rebound against Martinsville Friday. (David Conner II photos) / December 10, 2018

The Halifax County High School varsity girls’ basketball team is showing signs of producing a very competitive season.

Halifax downed Martinsville at home Friday, 53-49. Coach David Graham’s group is 3-1.

DeMeisha Canada put on an impressive show, scoring 20 points for the Comet girls. She had 10 after halftime and eight in the final period.

Dee Dee Jeffress scored 16, with all but four coming in the second half.

Halifax outscored the visitors 16-8 in the third period and 18-14 in the final quarter.

Martinsville had two double figure scorers, with LaTroya Gravely leading the way with 12 points and Janydia Taylor adding 10.

Three Lady Bulldogs - Deniya Gravely, Taylor Brown and Destinee Jones - scored nine points apiece.

Halifax trailed 27-19 at the start of the second half.

Martinsville quickly moved out to a ten-point lead, 29-19.

But Halifax began showing signs of smart basketball, as Morrison dished to Canada for a basket.

Martinsville extended its lead to 31-24 at the 5:40 mark of the third.

But the Comets steadily came clawing back, showing the signs of a solid basketball team. Halifax defended well, shared the ball unselfishly, and did not rush shots, at least most of the time.

With 7:50 left, the score was tied at 35-all.

Martinsville led, 40-39, and then the Lady Bulldogs took a 43-39 lead on a 3-pointer.

Martinsville also used stalling techniques, but Halifax proved relentless on defense.

Halifax pulled within two, 43-41, as 24 showed good ball moves.

Martinsville held a 46-41 lead after good ball movement down low. Jalisa Brooks forced a tie-up and then Lynia Reed scored in the lane, with the Comets pulling within 3, at 46-43. Reed stepped up with six points in the final period.

Reed got a steal and Halifax scored to cut the visitors’ lead to one, 46-45. With 1:35 left, Canada hit the go-ahead basket, off a Morrison assist.

Halifax led, 47-46.

Jeffress, showing good aggressiveness on offense, drove and landed two free throws. She made both and Halifax led, 49-46, with 1:17 remaining.

Martinsville forced a tie with 46.2 seconds left. Reed scored to hand the Comets a 51-49 lead, finishing a drive.

Martinsville missed a free throw and then had a lane violation with 16.4 seconds left.

But the Comets had a turnover with 10.3 seconds left.

But the Bulldogs squandered the opportunity, turning it over with 6.1 seconds left. Talitha Marable drew a foul, and sank both free throws for the four-point final margin. Marable had six on the night, while Daisy Mitchell added five.

Martinsville fell to 2-1 on the campaign.

Halifax has to feel good about this start.

“It’s confidence for anybody who plays for the rest of the season,” Jeffress said.

“We had a lot of heart. We work together and it’s a team effort.”

Halifax had a young club on the court during some of the key stretches.

“It’s really a great win tonight against a quality team,” Graham said.

Canada played very well and Halifax has solid floor leadership.

The win proves “we’ve got good enough talent to play against anybody. This is really going to boost the confidence. We’re a young team. At one time, Halifax had three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior (on the court.

“They played their hearts out,” said Graham.

Graham stressed solid defense, rebounding and good court sense.

Halifax was a bit too tentative on fast breaks, but Graham believes the girls can fix that issue.

He was also pleased to see unselfish ball on the court.

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