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Lady Comets welcome new coach, rebuilding

South Boston News
Halifax County High School varsity girls basketball team are, from left, first row, Ashley Hill, Janiyah Logan, Danyelle Edmonds, BriAna Pierce, Sheraine Claughton. Second row, Logan Holmes, Che’Lese Bowman, Aleara Edmondson, Lakia Martin, Lexi Tucker, assistant coach Darius Jennings. Third row, head coach Billy Lucas, Briyana Jackson, Whitney White, Brittani Boxley, assistant coach Jennifer Rutledge. / November 20, 2012
The Halifax County High School varsity girls’ basketball team has a new direction for the winter season. HCHS has a new coach, and there may be some positive signs ahead, especially in the next few seasons.

For now, HCHS likely will be in rebuilding mode.

“The team is very hard-working,” said new coach Billy Lucas. “Every day, they strive to get better. We’ve seen some great improvements over the past couple of weeks working with them. I’m been very pleased with everything they’ve done up to this point.

“We’re working to get ready for that first game against E.C. Glass at home (Monday),” said Lucas.

Lucas said the girls are extremely hard working, always a positive. “They get along very well, they work very well together. They are picking up on the offensive and defensive ideas very quick, which is a really good thing.”

Lucas, of course, has concerns with the biggest being rebounding.

“We’ve got some height, it’s just, with our system, you’ve got a lot of guards out there. Sometimes that can cause some problems. We’re planning on working on that this next week after the scrimmage (last night against Dan River at home) to see where we are,” he said.

Lucas, who is taking over for Matt McCargo, has 13 players in camp.

The projected starting lineup could still change by the time the season opener arrives.

At the guard spots, HCHS will have Lexi Tucker and Janiyah Logan.

“Both of them are real good ball handlers for us. They both can shoot the ball very well,” Lucas said. Tucker will probably handle the point, since it’s her third year with the varsity.

HCHS will also have Sheraine Claughton at a guard spot. “She’s a great shooter for us. She can knock it down. She catches and shoots it just about time, she’ll usually hit it,” said Lucas.

The starting guards are projected to be Tucker, Logan and Claughton.

Lakia Martin, a promising prospect, also arrives to help the varsity. The ninth-grade guard has considerable offensive and defensive promise, according to Lucas. “She was a great asset to have as a ninth-grader ... she has a lot of potential, if she decides to work at it.”

Martin will be playing the guard/post position for the Comets, based on what HCHS is trying to do offensively. At the other post, HCHS will have Logan Holmes, a senior.

Holmes is a very hard worker, with good post moves. “In practice, if the ball’s on the floor, she’s the one that’s diving for it. A lot of hustle play out of here, which is great to see out of the kid,” said Lucas. The projected post starters are Martin and Holmes.

The Comets have some reserves, and Lucas will use several players to provide help from the bench. Brittani Boxley, a tenth grader, adds athleticism and shooting ability at a guard spot. Danielle Edmunds will also help in a backup position, and guard Ashley Hill, the fastest player on the team and a good defender, will also provide depth.

DISTRICT LOOK: The last season of Western Valley district girls’ basketball should be very demanding for the Comets.

“You’ve got William Fleming, who just about returns everyone, who was in the state playoffs,” said Lucas.

Fleming reached the state quarterfinals a year ago, and are the reigning WVD champions.

“Franklin County returns ... just about everyone. GW will be very athletic, they always are. They return their post player, which gave us some problems last year.

Franklin County has its entire team back, with the exception of a couple of seniors. The Eagles won their fourth straight WVD tournament title a year ago and also won their first round regional game.

“PH, they’re always that team that’s disciplined, that’s going to run their offense, and run their offense until they get the shots they want,” said Lucas.

NEW DEAL: Lucas is fired up about the opportunity to run the HCHS varsity girls’ program.

Lucas, 33, could have a lengthy run here. “I’d love to be here for the next 20, 30 years coaching these girls that come through the program, building this thing into what it can be,” he said.

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