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Lady Comets find course corrrection

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
Top, HCHS varsity girls coach Wayne Murray speaks to the Lady Comets during a break in the action Saturday night against Gretna. Above Gretna’s Jayia Davis (12) battles Halifax’s Ashley Hill (22) for control of the basketball Saturday night. / January 27, 2014
The Halifax County High School varsity girls basketball team delivered a course correction Saturday night at Gretna’s expense.

HCHS, now 8-8, defeated Gretna, 51-35, as part of a girls and boys doubleheader.

The Comets had much better execution than they had the previous night in a tough loss to Magna Vista. HCHS scored in double figures all four quarters against Gretna.

Brittani Boxley had an excellent outing for the Comets, scoring 16 points. Teammates Janiyah Logan added 13 and Lakia Martin had 12 for the Comets. Halifax established important momentum early, outscoring Gretna, 15-6, in the first period. Boxley had an on-target first period, draining a 3-pointer and scoring seven overall.

HCHS added a 10-4 run in the second period and led 25-10 at the half. HCHS extended the lead to 39-21 heading into the final period and cruised to the victory.

Afterwards, HCHS coach Wayne Murray complimented the Comet girls for following the game plan.

“I told them before the game, you’ve to got to learn to listen and let’s ... play our game. Let’s control the action on the floor. Let’s do what we want them to do, and not let them force us into (mistakes),” said Murray. HCHS “responded. They went out and they did a great job tonight,” said Murray.

Boxley stepped up. “I needed her the whole game last night (against Magna Vista), but she got in foul trouble early and had to sit the first half. “She understood and she learned from it. It’s a learning process. We want to finish better than we started, and we’re still working towards achieving our goal,” said Murray.

Murray said the Comets did a better job of playing basketball under control. HCHS did not have as many turnover problems against Gretna and came away with a valuable win.

The Comets have a challenging stretch, as HCHS goes to Tunstall tonight, followed by another trip to Bassett Tuesday. HCHS travels to GW Friday. The Comets will try to build momentum from Saturday’s non-conference win. Tahyanna Gilbert led Gretna, now 6-8, with 19 points.

MAGNA VISTA LOSS: The Comets are 3-6 in the Piedmont district following a disheartening 62-46 loss to visiting Magna Vista Friday.

Taisha DeShazo led Magna Vista with 20 points, and Morian Hairston (13 points) and MaKayla Hairston (12 points) also finished in double figures. Magna Vista had too much strength inside and also outshot HCHS from the perimeter. The visitors finished with seven 3-pointers, while HCHS had two. J. Logan struck twice from bonusland in the final period.

Magna Vista led, 10-9, at the end of the first period. But a 22-7 surge in the second period from Magna Vista proved decisive.

Magna Vista led 32-16 at halftime and 49-24 at the end of three periods. Boxley led the Comet girls with 17 points, while Logan had 12. Ashley Hill added seven and Lakia Martin contributed six. Alexia Tucker scored four.

Magna Vista had 17 two-point field goals and seven treys, going seven-of-eight from the free throw line. HCHS had 14 field goals, two 3s and went 12-for-18.

HCHS had a strong final period, outscoring Magna Vista 22-13, but it was too late by then.

Boxley and Logan proved particularly effective in the final period.

Halifax proved a bit rusty. Turnovers also hampered HCHS.

Murray lamented the lack of execution in plays run in practice. The Comets also had foul trouble. Unforced terrors really hurt Halifax after an 8-0 start by the Comets.

Magna Vista also had solid production from three-point land.

“I knew no. 3 (DeShazo) could hit her 3s. She did it at Magna Vista, and we’ve got to close out on her. We’ve got to get out on the shooters and we’ve got to recognize them on the floor.

“There wasn’t much we could do once they start hitting our shots. The second and third quarter killed us,” said Murray.

Magna Vista outscored HCHS 39-15 in the second and third quarters.

Magna Vista coach Vicky Hayes explained, “We did pick up the defense. It helped us get some easy buckets and then our outside jumpers started falling a little bit.”

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