The eight seniors on the Halifax County High School boys basketball team wanted to make their Senior Night game against Bassett High School a fun night. All of the seniors scored, and they had their fun, and plenty of it.
Scoring on 11 of their 14 first-quarter possessions including the last nine in a row, the Comets pulled out to a 26-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and were never challenged in an easy 83-53 win over the Bengals in Friday night's Piedmont District game at Halifax County High School.
"We seniors knew this was almost our last ride and we just wanted to make it a good one, make it something we can remember for forever," said Comets senior Michael Spraggins who, along with fellow senior Tyree Dunkley led the Comets in scoring with 16 points each.
"Moments like this you don't forget."
"We knew this was one of the last times we would be playing basketball for many of us seniors," added Dunkley.
"We wanted to come out and prove what we can do."
Comets senior Kendall Dixon, who was next in line in scoring with 13 points, echoed the sentiment of his teammates.
"It was one of our last nights playing at home," Dixon pointed out, "and we just wanted to go out and have fun tonight."
In all,13 Comets players scored in the game. Senior MyQuan Williams followed with eight points, Kevon Ferrell chipped in seven points, and Jhamad Lawson and senior Malik Crews scored five points each. Tucker Harris scored four points, senior John Wells scored three points, and senior Otis Slayton and Davon Jennings scored two points each. Senior Brashaam Truesdale-El and Isaiah Hubbard scored one point each.
The 30-point win by the Comets over Bassett High School (2-18 overall, 0-12 district) was a dominating performance. Halifax County High School (16-4 overall, 9-4 district) had one of its best shooting nights of the season, hitting 10 of 18 shots from behind the 3-point arc in the first half, and finishing the night 13-27 from beyond the arc.
Halifax County High School committed only three turnovers in the first half and finished the night with 11. The Comets forced Bassett High School into turning the ball over 17 times in the game.
Comets head coach Sterling Williams said the game was the kind of game he wanted to see for his seniors on Senior Night.
"We wanted to send these guys out with a bang," he remarked.
"It was good seeing the ball being moved around, swung around the horn, not letting it stick in one guy's hands. Guys were making the extra pass, and when you do that time after time the ball has a way of finding its way into the basket."
Williams felt the team shot the ball well, especially in the first half.
"The guys were finding each other," explained the Comets coach.
"They were penetrating (the lane) and kicking it out, making the right play. When you do that, the ball tends to go into the basket. You get good shots, not forced shots. Of those "threes" that we hit, I'd say, maybe one was forced. It was a good team effort."
Halifax County High School's second quarter was just as good as the first. The closest Bassett High School got to the Comets in the second quarter was 19 points. After the Bengals cut their deficit to 19 points in the first two minutes of the second quarter, the Comets went on an 11-4 run that included 3-pointers from Wells, Crews and Spraggins to extend the lead to 39-13 with 4:04 left in the first half.
Later, holding a 39-15 edge, the Comets rang up eight unanswered points that included a basket from Dixon and a 3-pointer each from Ferrell and Lawson to lead 47-15 with two minutes left in the half. The half ended with the Comets up 51-20.
The Comets continued their onslaught in the second half, getting a layup from Dunkley 34 seconds into the second half to kick things off. Halifax County High School led 74-36 at the end of the third quarter, and had no problem closing out the game.
Friday night's game marked the second straight lopsided win for the Comets after having taken tough losses at the hands of GW-Danville and Franklin County High School. The Comets have a home non-district game Monday night against Park View High School of South Hill and a district game Wednesday night against Patrick County High School in Stuart remaining on their regular-season schedule.
"We're just trying to finish out the season well," the Comets coach explained.
"We felt like we took a bad loss to Franklin County, and we needed to refocus after that Franklin County game. The boys did against Tunstall, and did it again against Bassett High School. The guys came out with a lot of energy, a lot of fire. It was good to see the ball go in the basket."