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Lady Comets bring title back home

South Boston News
The Lady Comets celebrate their 57-51 win over Person County in the championship game of Friday’s Holiday Classic. / December 31, 2012

The Halifax County High School varsity girls basketball team again has claimed its own Holiday classic, after failing to reach the title game a year ago.

Halifax, now 7-4 and riding a two-game winning streak, repelled Person County, 57-51, in the tournament championship finale Friday night. The Comets suffered a downturn last year and did not make the finals, after last winning the classic crown two seasons ago.

HCHS had routed Park View, 61-20, in the first game Thursday night.

Halifax now starts its final season of Western Valley district play. The Comets are seeking to become one of three teams from the WVD to reach the Northwest regional playoffs. HCHS starts with GW on the road Wednesday night, followed by the district home opener against Fleming Friday.

Halifax head coach said winning the classic crown “means a lot.” He added, “I think the girls have progressed greatly from the beginning of the year.”

The Comet girls have reaped rewards from hard work and diligence in practice, a positive sign for any team.

Halifax also had considerable success at the foul line in the title game, connecting on 28 of 36 attempts. Halifax did a good job getting to the line and also connected on its shots. The Comets struggled earlier in this department, but came through, big time, in the finals Friday.

Park View Halifax 61-Park View- 20

Lucas installed a new defensive twist for the Lady Dragons, and the coaching move paid dividends immediately.

HCHS had relied primarily on its zone defense earlier, but the Comets added a suffocating half court trap. The move worked, as Halifax limited Park View to four first half points. Lucas took pride in that defensive effort, and hopes to see the Comets play that well the rest of the season.

“This was a great game for us. We were able to come out and force Park View into a lot of turnovers in the first half. We held Park View to four points in the first half, including two points in each quarter.

The girls moved around great defensively. As a team we had 13 steals with Ashley Hill leading the way with four steals in the game for us. We also had five blocked shots in the game. Brittani Boxely had three and Ashley Hill had two for us.

“Another big thing defensively in the game was in the third quarter we did not commit a foul while still playing hard defense,” said Lucas.

HCHS led 18-2 after the first period and outscored the Lady Dragons 16-2 in the second, for a commanding 34-4 halftime lead.

Halifax went on a 19-7 run in the third to completely seal the deal.

“Offensively we had a great job as a team scoring. The scoring was extremely well balanced with three players scoring in double digits. Also another big thing was every girl that played scored in the game, making the win a total team effort,” Lucas said.

Alexia Tucker and Che’lease Bowman had 11 points, with the rest of the scoring: Brittani Boxely, 10; Lakia Martin, 8 Ashley Hill: 8 (6 of 7 from the foul line) Sheraine Claughton: 6 Danyelle Edmunds: 4 Janiyah Logan: 2 BriAna Pierce: 1.

“The girls executed well on both ends of the court and they did a great job of boxing out all night long.

“When Park View did get shots because of boxing out they were not able to get many second shots,” said Lucas.

He noted that is “something that you have to do night in and night out to be successful in basketball, limiting the other team’s second shots,” said Lucas.

Halifax 57-Person 51

Early in the first quarter, HCHS went on a big run to start the game and the score was 18-4, Comets. Then, at the buzzer to end the period, Person hit a 3 to make the score 18-7.

In the second quarter, HCHS had problems scoring at times. The Comets good looks at the basket but just couldn’t hit them. Person cut the Comet lead to 26-21 by halftime.

In the third period, HCHS was able to maintain its lead. At the end of the third, the Comets led 39-33.

In the final period, HCHS hit its free throws to win the game. The Comets won by six.

“It was a tough game for us because this was the third time that we had played Person and it is hard to beat a team three times in a season.

“In our first meeting with Person we won easily, 49-20. The last time we played them we were able to win (in a closer game). And then this time we were able to get the win by 6. Every time we have played them it has been tougher and tougher mainly because Coach (Ray) Reaves has done a great job of getting his girls prepared for us.

“One of the big things in our games with Person this season in each game we have had someone different step up. In the first game against them Alexia Tucker had a big game to help lead us to the win.

“In the second game we had multiple players score in double digits to help with the win. And then in the tournamet Janiyah Logan really stepped up to help us win. She went 18-24 at the foul line and scored 22 points in the game. This was huge. Also as a team we were 26-38 at the line. This is huge, because in tough games you have to hit free throws to be able to win. Also in big games you need someone to step up and that is what Janiyah did for us,” said Lucas.

Halifax scoring by player: Janiyah Logan, 22 points; Alexia Tucker, 13; Brittani Boxely, 12; Che’lease Bowman- 5 Lakia Martin- 4 Ashley Hill- 1.

“Overall I was excited to win the Classic but I was more excited for the girls to win it because it will give them some confidence as we get ready to take on GW in the district opener on Wednesday (in Danville).

“The girls have been able to find ways to win games so far this year, whether it is hitting free throws down the stretch, playing hustle defense or being able to score offensively. They have been able to learn how to win when needed.

“They have been doing a great job progressing daily and from game to game. I am so proud of the girls’ work ethic and how they play the game with class and enthusiasm each night when they step on the court. I look forward to see what the rest of the season holds for us as we move forward throughout the rest of the year. I also would like to thank all of our fans for the support they have given us up to this point,” said Lucas.

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