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Comets top Pulaski 75-69 in five OTs / February 15, 2021

The Halifax County High School boys basketball team advanced to the final of the Region 4D tournament after winning their semifinal game Wednesday against Pulaski, downing the Cougars 75-69 in five overtimes.

The Comets faced no. 4 Blacksburg, Sunday, after Blacksburg beat no. 1 seed Amherst.

The Comets are seeking to clinch their third consecutive trip to the VHSL Class 4 state championships after the regular season was largely wiped out by covid-related cancellations.

In beating second-seeded Pulaski, Halifax got an explosive scoring performance from Kameron Roberts, who knocked down 36 points to lead all scorers. Kevon Ferrell posted 14 in the win.

Halifax opened the game with a Ferrell three-pointer. The Cougar’s Josh Bourne posted a trey to tie the score 3-3.

Pulaski added four points off of baskets by J.J. Gulley and A.J. McCloud. Halifax answered with back-to-back threes from Keshawn Wells and Roberts to put Halifax ahead 9-7.

Roberts hit another deuce in the frame but a 4-0 burst by the Cougars had the host team up 13-11 at the end of one.

Pulaski opened the second period with a Gulley trey. Jaden Waller, having another great game off the bench, had a strong move to get the inside shot off the glass.

Pulaski went on a 7-0 run to increase its lead to 23-13. Halifax responded with a Roberts’ bucket and two baskets by Ferrell to tighten the score 23-19.

Pulaski took the 28-21 lead to the half but not before Waller skied for one of his breakout dunks.

Halifax only had four players post scores in the first half of play. Roberts and Ferrell had seven each; Waller had four and Wells three points.

Comet coach Sterling Williams said the first half wasn’t their best basketball. Williams chalked up the mood to getting to Pulaski a little behind time.

“The front end we came out a little flat. We got there a little late, so we didn’t have a good chance to get up our shots like normal game. They held the clock for us and let us get a normal warmup in.

Williams said that combined with the fact that Pulaski played well in the first half was something they addressed. “They were packing it in and we weren’t as patient as we could have been on the offensive end.”

Down by seven entering the third period, the Comets were poised to get the game back to a one/two possession contest.

Roberts opened the second half with a deuce. McCloud went to the line for Pulaski and hit one of two.

Ferrell drilled a trey to move the Comets within three at 29-26. The period closed on a 5-4 run in Pulaski’s favor – Roberts posting the final four points in the frame for Halifax.

The Comets were down 34-30 as the final period began. Robert went to the stripe and hit one of two; he then followed that with a deuce off of an offensive rebound and put back to pull within one at 34-33.

Roberts tied the score at 36-36, the first time the score had been tied since 9-9 in the opening period. Halifax regained the lead at 38-36 lead as Ferrell posted the deuce.

Pulaski moved out front at 43-40 behind the solid play of A.J. McCloud. At the 36.6 mark Halifax got the ball, worked for an open shot and tied the game at 43-43 when Nijay Ross buried the shot from deep left corner.

Each team posted five points in the first overtime. Roberts hit two at the foul line for the Comets as the first OT started and added another basket. Wells hit one at the line.

The score was locked at 48-48 as the second jumped off. This finish was even closer at 50-50. Ferrell would foul out after scoring 14 points on the night.

Roberts and Wells each posted a basket and a trey, respectively, to knot the score at 55-55 after four OT’s.

Both teams scored eight points in the fourth OT. Davon Jennings and Roberts worked to keep the Comets in the game; Jennings getting four points at the foul stripe. McCloud would sink a trey to tie the score at 63-63 as the period ended.

In the final overtime of the game, Roberts knocked down 10 points to close out the game and secure the 75-69 Region 4D semifinal victory.

Williams said he was proud of the way his guys played. He also commended Pulaski for a hard fought game.

“They had a really good player (McCloud); he was able to get in the lane and create shots for other guys,” Williams said. “To their credit they were knocking down shots.”

Looking at his own squad the coach said the Comets just refused to give up.

“They just kept competing,” Williams said of the Comets. “Two starters fouled out – Kevon fouled out in second overtime.

“Nijay Ross – coming off the bench - hit the three at the end of regulation to put us into overtime. We had some guys that came off the bench and really helped us out.”

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