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Comets almost pull off surprising upset

SoVaNow.com / January 10, 2013
The Halifax County High School varsity boys’ basketball team almost produced a surprising upset in Western Valley district play.

The Comets, stumbling through a major overall slump, fell at PH-Roanoke Tuesday in Roanoke, 54-49. HCHS dropped to 0-3 in the Western Valley district, with a talented Heritage team coming here tomorrow night.

The Comets had to play without Dakota Delaware, and Trelanne Johnson was sidelined in the second half with an asthma attack.

Comet head coach Larry Epperly said HCHS played their hearts out.

Halifax trailed by only three points with under a minute to play, and had its chance for the upset. The Comets kept battling, and PH held the ball. PH made the critical free throws at the end to win.

PH was three-for-three from the foul line in the final period.

But the Comets stepped up and threw a real scare into PH, giving an excellent effort.

Five Comets scored, as T.J. Brooks had 15 points and Keyshawn Johnson added ten. Tavion Petty contributed eight and James Burden had seven. Evin Morrison added six.

PH brought a 41-36 lead into the final period, and both teams had 13 points apiece in the fourth. K. Johnson had six on three field goals, while Burden hit a two-point basket and went three-for-three at the line. PH prevailed, however, as Banks led the Pats with 18 points.

HCHS battled on nearly even terms, as Brooks hit five three-pointers. Halifax finished with seven treys, while the Pats also had seven. Both teams were inconsistent at the foul line, with PH just three-for-nine and HCHS five-for-ten.

Brooks basically kept the Comets in contention in the first half, scoring all of his 15 before halftime.

HCHS also showed significant improvement defensively, holding a good PH team to 54 points. The Comets got a good defensive tempo to their liking, and battled hard against the Patriots.

PH is 2-0 in the district and 12-1 overall. But the Pats also made key shots at the right times. Had the Comets been at full strength, Halifax might have pulled the upset.

HCHS dropped to 6-8 overall and 0-3 in the WVD. The Comets have dropped four games in a row.

The Comets refused to wilt early, as HCHS trailed, 19-14, at the end of the first period. Brooks did most of the offensive work for Halifax in the first quarter, sinking three treys.

PH outscored HCHS, 11-6, in the second period, to seize a ten-point lead at the half, 30-20.

But HCHS rallied with an excellent third, outscoring the Patriots, 16-11. Petty took the reins of leadership here, sinking two treys and nailing a two-point goal.

That set the stage for the final period, with PH doing enough to hold off the gritty Comets at home.

Halifax now has a considerable test Friday, with Heritage coming to Blue Heaven. The Pioneers made the state Final four a year ago.

Heritage has a very athletic team, and the Pioneers have an effective press. This will be a major test for HCHS, which lost to Heritage on the road earlier this year.



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