A slow start to the second half and a tough third quarter were too much for the Halifax County High School varsity girls basketball team to overcome in Friday night’s Piedmont District contest against Martinsville High School in Martinsville.

In a contest that went down to the final minute, the Comets fell to the Bulldogs 66-62. Friday night’s loss, the second in a row for the Comets, dropped the Comets’ record to 8-2 overall and 1-1 in Piedmont District play.

“We played well overall,” said Comets head coach David Graham.

“We played good defense, and the offense put up good points. We got a good game from both Dee Dee (Jeffress) and Ella (Morrison). Lynia Reed played a good, solid game. We just came up a little short in the long run.”

Morrison and Jeffress each scored 20 points to lead the Comets in the scoring column. Morrison scored 14 of her points in the second half. Jeffress scored 10 points in each half.

Reed followed with 12 points, scoring six points in each half. Talitha Marable followed with four points. Kayla Townes, Shamya Hankins and Dezheona Mitchell all scored two points each.

Halifax County High School led early, taking a 16-10 lead at the end of the first quarter with the aid of seven points from Jeffress and a 3-pointer from Morrison. With five players scoring, the Comets outscored the Bulldogs 14-12 in the second quarter and led 30-22 at halftime.

The tide turned against the Comets in the third quarter. The Comets managed to score only 10 points in the third quarter, seven of which came from Jeffress. Martinsville High School outscored the Comets 23-10 in the quarter and took a 45-40 lead into the final period.

Halifax County High School chipped away at the Bulldogs’ lead, and had a chance to tie or win heading into the final minute, only to come up short. Morrison scored 13 points over the last eight minutes, and Reed came through with three baskets as the Comets battled for the win.

Martinsville High School came up big with the long ball in the second half, with Destiny Harris knocking down four 3-pointers, a pair in both the third quarter and the fourth quarter.

The Comets and Bulldogs had similar marks at the free throw line. Halifax County High School was 20-30 from the charity stripe for 66%, while the Bulldogs were 16-25 at the free throw line for 64%.

Halifax County High School has a three-game week this week, with the first of the games coming Monday night when the Comets go on the road to face Nottoway County High School. The Comets will face Tunstall High School on the road Tuesday night and will face Bassett High School Friday night at Halifax County High School.