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HCHS downs Heritage 71-64

South Boston News / January 14, 2013
Halifax County High School varsity boys’ hoops was desperately in need of a winning effort Friday night, and that’s what the Comets got, taking down a good Heritage team, 71-64, at Blue Heaven.

The Comets rallied after a bitter road loss in district play to PH.

Halifax also stopped a losing streak and improved to 7-8. HCHS, now 0-3 in the district, will try to secure its first WVD win Tuesday at home against Franklin County.

The Comets have enhanced confidence after downing a team that made the state Final Four in its classification last year, although the Patriots did not have their starting point guard for this game. Heritage is 10-4 after the loss.

HCHS’ Dakota Delaware returned after a one-game absence, and played very well. He had 18 points, including connecting on three of six free throws. Delaware came off the bench to lead the Comets in scoring.

James Burden had ten points, while Tavion Petty scored 11. Trelanne Johnson scored six, and Keyshawn Johnson had a sparkling outing with 16 points.

HCHS finished four of 15 from three-point range, with 18 turnovers, and the Comets were 13-for-23 at the foul line. Heritage went nine-of-24 from three-point range, with 15 turnovers and 11-of-17 from the free throw line. Jeremy Hill, formerly of Halifax County, led the Pioneers with 22 points.

The Comets led by four, 18-14, at the end of the first period and 38-34 at the half.

Trelanne Johnson started the third period with a crisp reverse layup, but Heritage remained competitive. Burden had another layup, and HCHS held a 42-39 advantage.

Keyshawn Johnson followed with a steal and a driving score for the Comets, giving HCHS a 44-39 lead. Heritage later drew within one, but the Comets managed to scratch out a 52-46 lead heading into the final period.

Delaware gave the Comets a solid third quarter lift with seven points in the period.

Heritage outscored Halifax, 19-18, in the final period, but that was not enough to overcome the Comet lead. K. Johnson had three points, while Petty also had four and Kevon Tucker hit all of his free throws and had four points in the final period.

Delaware also hit both of his free throws and scored six points in the final period.

Petty had four points in the fourth period.

HCHS did a good job in the final period at the foul line, connecting on 9-of-13 free throws.

Halifax scored 38 points at halftime and the Comets controlled the boards in the second half. Heritage got hit by a snowball effect in the second half.

“They’re an athletic team, and they play hard and they have some 3-point shooters,” coach Larry Epperly said.

“I liked our execution. I thought we ...moved the ball on offense,” said Epperly, who also agreed the Comets rebounded well.

HCHS has been cutting down on its turnover totals.

“It’s still a little too high and it hurts us at times, but it’s better than what it was,” said Epperly.

HCHS also had a solid defensive effort with a quality week.

HCHS has a critical district game at home Tuesday night against Franklin County, as the Comets try to climb back into position to make the WVD postseason tournament.

Four teams go to the WVD tournament, with the fifth place team left sitting at home, done for the season.

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