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Comets downed by buzzer beater

South Boston News
Davon Jennings grabs a rebound in Tuesday’s Piedmont District Tournament championship game. / February 20, 2020

When the top two teams in the Piedmont District met for the district championship Tuesday at Halifax County High School, fans of both the Comets and the Martinsville Bulldogs were expecting a great game, but probably nothing like what unfolded in the 45-44 loss the locals suffered.

Each team had defeated the other in regular season action on their home courts. Halifax bested the Martinsville 73-51 Jan. 3. Martinsville responded in kind with a 46-39 win over Halifax on Jan. 28.

Tuesday’s matchup turned out to be the closest the two schools have played each other this season.

The teams began the game with Halifax winning the first period 10-6. Kameron Roberts had a deuce and a trey in the frame. Roberts paced the Comets with 16 points on the night; Keven Ferrell posted 13.

Martinsville’s Jahiem Niblet led all players with a game-high 18 points.

Martinsville stepped up their offense in the second period and were able to top Halifax, winning the stanza 16-12. Ferrell had six points in the second.

The teams went to the half knotted at 22-22. Roberts scored nine in the first half.

Halifax won the third frame 11-8 to move out to the 33-30 lead as the game went to the top of the fourth period. Ferrell knocked down seven of the 11 scored in the third.

The final period saw a determined Martinsville come out and do what they had to do to get the win. Both teams battled hard in the final period with Halifax eventually taking the 44-42 lead with little time remaining in the game.

The Comets would stop the Bulldogs on their next series and secure the rebound off the Bulldog’s missed shot attempt, but this is where things would go wrong for the locals. Halifax coach Sterling Williams said after the game the stage was set for a Comet victory.

“Late in the game we got the stops we needed to get and the rebound we needed to get but it ended up being a jump ball,” Williams said.

“They tied our guy up and it ended up being a jump ball and hats off to the Martinsville kid who knocked down the three. He wasn’t open; two guys were on him with a hand in his face [and] good defense on him. He double clutched and it went in. It was the only three they made in the game.”

Williams noted that his Comets never gave up in a game that was tight from jump ball.

“The guys fought hard; they played hard,” Williams continued. “[I] felt like we could have executed better offensively.”

If the Comets had one negative on the night it was going two-of-10 at the foul line.

“It was a tough game; somebody has gotta win, somebody has gotta lose. But the guys played hard, fought hard and they didn’t give up — didn’t fold,” Williams said.

Next up for the Comets is an opening round Region 4D tournament game against Pulaski Friday night at Halifax County High School.

If the Comets win, they are projected to host the winner of the EC Glass/Salem game Feb. 25. The Region finals would be at Halifax on Feb. 28 should the Comets win out.

Williams said the Comets will be preparing for whatever Pulaski throws at them.

“We know they are good, everybody is good this time of the year,” Williams stated. “They’ve got a couple players that can really go so we’re just going to watch some film on them try to find out what they like to do and then find ways to stop it.

Pulaski is a Class-4 school out of the River Ridge District.

“It will be a good test for us at home,” Williams concluded. “The (Comet) girls play in front of us so we’ll kind of be back on a routine thing we normally do. But we’ve just to get better these next two days in practice and not hang our heads about tonight.

Halifax: J. Lawson 4, K. Wells 5, K. Roberts 16, K. Ferrell 13, D. Jennings 4, Z. Carter 2.

Martinsville: T. Brandon 7, J. Law 6, L. Jones 10, J. Martin 4, J. Niblet 18.

Halifax 60 – MV 50

Halifax’s Kameron Roberts and Keshawn Wells posted 12 points each and teammate Jaden Waller scored 11 as the Comets went on to defeat Magna Vista 60-50 in the semifinal round of the Piedmont District basketball tournament.

Halifax took the first period 13-6. MV improved on offense in the second and won the frame 13-9.

Halifax was up 22-16 at the half.

MV had a big third period posting 26 points. The Comets generated 15 points in the frame, with MV taking the 45-37 lead to the final period.

Halifax came out in the closing frame and dominated to win the block 23-5 and the game 60-50.

Halifax: K. Roberts 12, K. Wells 12, J. Waller 11, J. Lawson 7, K. Ferrell 9, D. Jennings 7, Z. Carter 2.

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