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Lady Comets have respectable supporting cast
SoVaNow.com / November 26, 2013The Halifax County High School varsity girls’ basketball team is off to a positive start after an encouraging scrimmage against Bluestone Friday. The Comets, who begin the season against Person County next Tuesday, appear to have a respectable supporting cast. The Comets also have a new coach, Wayne Murray, who has fundamental knowledge of the game from his work at coaching clinics.
“We want to get better as the year goes on. We want to end up better than where we are now. I want to see improvement throughout the year,” Murray said.
The key to the postseason runs through a one-week test known as conference play, when four programs, including the Comets, settle two spots for region 5-A North play. The Piedmont district and the ensuing tournament are a test for conference play.
“That is part of our goal, is to go as far, if not further, than the girls’ program has ever been. It’s going to take time to build a program and hopefully, we’re going to get better as the year goes on,” said Murray.
Murray will build around two quality guards, Alexia Tucker and Janiyah Logan.
Tucker is the prime point guard to run the team. “She’s real good off the dribble, she’s fast. She can shoot it from the outside. She can run the ballclub, and that’s what I need her to do,” said Murray.
“Logan plays the two guard for the most part. She will also have to run the point when (Tucker) has to sit out for a few minutes. One of those two has to be on the floor at all times,” said Murray.
Logan is a fine outside shooter and can run the offense.
As for the interior, Lakia Martin will play the center spot. “She’s a wide body. She’s tough. I need her to get a little bit tougher, to push people around a little bit more and to play with confidence.
“We’re going to teach her how to get down on that block and play,” said Murray.
Brittani Boxley will play the power forward spot. Boxley plays under control and gives a great effort. Ashley Hill is the three position, the small forward. “Right now, she’s a little faster than what I need her to be. I need her to be a little bit more under control. She can also hit the outside jumper, or she can (hit layups). She’s got great speed, and she does some really good things for me,” said Murray.
Some of the key reserves will be Kye-Neisha Logan, who can back up almost any spot on the floor. Logan is a tough, smart player. She shoots well and her confidence will grow as the season moves forward.
Kaylen Palmer has good height and boxed out well. She’s a good learner, too, and Murray believes she will help.
Keisha Johnson is a reseve guard, and Murray is trying to teach her more fundamentals. Asia Carter is a ninth grader who has a good defensive presence. Her offense is improving. Carter’s sister Mecca also provides a burst of energy and speed. M. Carter also “wants the ball in the block, which is something I need out of all of them,” said Murray.
‘Unique’ Farmer is a first-time player, and she did a good job pushing a Bluestone big out of the block. Trinity Owen has good height and is learning the system.
Murray is all about players knowing their roles, a sign of a good coach.
The Comets could be stronger fundamentally.
Murray has some experience coaching boys, and he’s been to a wide variety of college camps.
“Realistically, I think we’re going to win right many ballgames. I don’t think we’re going to win them all ... but I do think we’re going to put on a good show,” said Murray.
Murray believes he has a strong starting group, and he needs the reserves to step up.
Defensively, the Comets will use a 1-3-1 halfcourt trap and run man defense.
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