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Rockets, Outlaw dominate Comet boys / December 03, 2012
UNC-Greensboro recruit Tyrone Outlaw and Person County dominated the Halifax County High School varsity boys’ basketball team on the road Friday, 55-33.

Outlaw finished with an impressive body of work against the Comets, now 1-1 on the season.

Outlaw finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three blocks in the rout of the Comets. Outlaw was the lone Rocket in double figures and had 17 points in the first half alone.

Halifax goes to Heritage tonight, part of a three-game slate this week.

A major offensive cold snap cost HCHS dearly against the Rockets.

“We just could not score. I liked our team. We did some nice things. We couldn’t make a basket. And the game, at the end of the night, is still about points. You’ve got to have points. We just could not score,” Halifax coach Larry Epperly said.

“Holding (Person) to 55 is pretty good. Most teams, 55, is pretty good. But you’ve still got to score, and we just couldn’t make any shots. “That was the whole difference in the game,” Epperly said.

HCHS connected on just six field goals in the first half.

“We couldn’t make shots. We got open shots. We couldn’t make them. We had clean looks and couldn’t make a shot,” said Epperly.

“We got what we wanted. We got good shots inside, outside. We couldn’t make them,” said Epperly.

HCHS could not land anyone in double figures for the night. Trelanne Johnson led the Comets with eight points, while T.J. Brooks and James Burden had five apiece. Kevon Tucker added four for Halifax.

Outlaw sparked the Rockets, as expected.

“He’s a good player. The thing I like about him, he’s a good passer. He finds the open man,” said Epperly.

HCHS was all but out of contention at the end of the first half, although the Comets did manage a decent third period run.

Halifax shot poorly in the first period and fell behind quickly. Person led 9-2 at the 5:19 mark, sparked by a 3-pointer from Outlaw.

Outlaw connected on another 3-pointer for a 12-3 Rocket lead, and he finished a fast break for a 15-3 Rocket lead with 3:44 left in the first period.

Outlaw scored ripping down the baseline for a 17-3 Rocket lead. HCHS continued to struggle offensively, with a cold spell snapped by an IKeem Woody bucket. Still, the Comets trailed, 21-6.

The Rockets had a turnover and Halifax followed with a layup to cut the lead to 21-8. But Person led by that margin heading into the second period.

Outlaw continued his dominance down low, rejecting a Kory Lennon shot as Person sprinted to a 30-10 lead. By halftime, the Rockets had emerged with a 32-14 advantage.

“I thought we played extremely well in the first half. We did a real good job of doing what we want to do. We really executed, shared the basketball, we played good, solid defense,” PC coach Charles Dacus said.

“Halifax did a great job in the second half of really slowing us down, and we got a little stagnant. We executed well, but we got stagnant and we missed some shots that we’re capable of hitting. They just weren’t going in, especially to start the second half. Then we were able to pick it back a little bit, late third quarter, the start of the fourth.” . Halifax capitalized on a few Rocket turnovers and made it briefly interesting in the third period, closing within 36-20. The Rockets led, 37-22, and Outlaw crashed the boards to score and complete a three-point play. That play boosted Person County to a 40-22 lead with 1:11 left in the third period.

PC led, 44-22, at the end of the third, with mop-up action ahead in the fourth. Epperly emptied his bench in the final period.

PC had little real trouble dealing with the Comet zone defense. Epperly expects to use the zone most of the time. “We’re just not big. We’re skinny. We can’t match up on people. Like tonight, we don’t have anybody who could play (Outlaw). We had to do it collectively.

“We made some mistakes, giving him some (operating room). We didn’t box him out,” said Epperly. “55 (points), they shouldn’t have got that. But they got some easy ones on us.”

One positive occurred as the HCHS squad did a better job on turnovers. Point guard Keyshawn Johnson had a couple of early turnovers, but settled down.

HCHS made a third quarter mini-run to cut into the Rocket lead to a degree, but then two straight turnovers hampered the Comets.

The Rockets were 22-6 a year ago and advanced to the third round of the North Carolina playoffs. Dacus is optimistic about the current campaign, although the Pac 6, Person’s conference, will be tough again.

Halifax, meanwhile, will try to regroup after a rough experience for the first road game of its season.

HCHS travels to Heritage tonight. The Comets are at home Wednesday against Martinsville, followed by a trip to Bassett Friday. Both schools are part of the Piedmont district, the Comets’ new home next season, so Halifax is moving towards getting adjusted to their new district digs. This season is the last for the Western Valley district, which is being disbanded after this school year.

Comet jayvee boys have difficult time with Rockets

The Halifax County High School jayvee boys’ basketball team had a difficult trip to Person County Friday.

The Comets dropped a 38-27 decision to Person, hampered by poor scoring in the second half.

“We came out and had a good first half. We executed our offense. We played disciplined defense. We looked good,” coach Nathan Lantor said.

But the Comets went flat after halftime.

“We turned the ball over in the second half, giving them (the Rockets) easy opportunities, easy layups. We couldn’t get a stop, only scored ten points the second half,” said Lantor.

“The guys have got to be a little more disciplined. We’ve got to go in practice, be serious, run through all our drills, run through our offense and really step it up,” said Lantor.

The Comets have Heritage Monday.

“The jayvee Comets have a lot of speed, which I will be trying to use to advantage. We will try to push the ball on offense and position players into areas on the floor that will give them the best opportunity to score,” Lantor said.

“On defense, I would like to see some strong ball pressure and a lot of different defensive sets to try and confuse our opponents.”

Rymel Hill led the Comet scoring against Person County with seven points.

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