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Positives seen in winless season

SoVaNow.com / February 13, 2013
The Halifax County High School varsity girls’ basketball team failed to win a game in its final season of Western Valley district play, but first-year head coach Billy Lucas still saw some positives from the Comets.

Lucas knew early during this often frustrating WVD campaign that a winless season was a possibility.

“I thought we should have got PH at least once, if not both times we played them,” said Lucas, who noted there was plenty of very strong competition overall on the girls side in the WVD.

“Night in, night out, you’ve got to play your best ... to have a chance. One or two mistakes here and there can turn a ballgame in a heartbeat in the Western Valley,” he said.

Lucas remained proud of the Comet girls, even as they battled adversity. “One of the biggest things I saw, and a lot of the coaches around the district made mention of ... was the fight (in the Comets). Regardless how a game went, we continously fought. That’s the first battle you’ve got to win ... that drive to always compete, regardless of what the score is, or how the game is going,” Lucas said.

The Comets also had major injury and illness woes.

“We went through a stretch of the season where we were down four and five girls at a time,” said Lucas. “We had two out for a while with concussions. We had one out from a shoulder injury. We had another one that was out with a knee injury at times. Injuries played a role in some of our losses and everything,” said Lucas, whose team posted a final 7-13 record overall.

As for the future, Lucas expects to get some district wins in the new-look Piedmont district next winter.

Lucas called for an improvement in rebounding and reducing turnovers.

“We’ve got to get that desire and want to get the ball every time it comes off the rim. We also have to cut down on turnovers. You give teams turnovers and second and chance points, it’s hard to beat anybody,” he said.

Lucas also has a solid base of returnees for next season, another reason for optimism.

Alexia Tucker returns at the guard position for her fourth year on the varsity.

“Having your point guard back and being a fourth year player, three years of it she started, she should be able to do a lot of good things for us, running the offense,” said Lucas.

Janiyah Logan is also expected to return. Logan will be a senior, for her third year in the varsity program. “Just having that experience will be the big thing at the varsity level,” said Lucas.

Brittani Boxley also returns and Lucas expects help from her at the guard spot. Ashley Hill, who played the post and can also work at the guard spot, returns next winter. Hill has good speed.

Lakia Martin is projected to return, and she might play either guard or in the post.

“If she can get a little bit quicker, she can possibly play a four for us, power forward type position, or even a three, which will cause a lot of matchup problems for teams,” Lucas said.

Whitney White also returns for her second year on the varsity. White is about 6-foot-2 and brings some extra height for the post position.

As for other players moving up, Lucas said, “We’ve got some talent that’s coming up the jayvees, and just getting them on page with us, and see how fast they can pick up everything will be a big help.”

NEW LOOK: HCHS will be competing in the Piedmont, as the Western Valley district will no longer exist. GW-Danville and Franklin County will join the Comets for regular season action in the Piedmont.

“Based on how our regular season goes, we will get seeded for a postseason tournament that will include us, Albemarle, Orange and PH-Ashland. Two of those teams, whichever make it to the championship game, will both be in the region,” said Lucas.

OFFSEASON WORK: Lucas hopes to get his players working to improve their game in the off-season, although academics come first.

Lucas plans work on overall fundamentals. He also plans some off-season camps and other preparations.





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