The Magna Vista Warriors came into Tuesday night’s matchup against the Halifax County girl’s basketball team undefeated in Piedmont District play.
They would leave Halifax with that record still intact, defeating the Comets 49-38 on senior night at Halifax County High School.
Magna Vista took an early 17-9 lead after the first quarter. Halifax would get their offense going in the second quarter but Magna Vista was there to answer and at halftime the Warriors led 31-22. Magna Vista’s TaNaisha Hairston was all over the court for the Warriors in the first half, scoring 13 first half points for her team.
Halifax head coach David Graham made an adjustment in the second half to try and contain Hairston.
“We boxed her. She is a very good player and an offensive weapon, so we had to slow her down, and we did a good job on stopping her,” Graham said. The adjustment worked, as Hairston was held to only two second half points that came early in the third quarter.
Graham knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy task to defeat the best team in the district, but his team was able to chip away at the lead and make it a close game down the stretch. “That is what we talked about at halftime, cutting the lead in half and giving ourselves a chance to win,” Graham said.
Chip away is what the Comets did. The Magna Vista lead grew to double digits at several points early in the second half, but Halifax would get the lead down to three points and had a chance to tie the game at one point.
“We did a great job getting the lead down to three, we had our chances, but we exhausted ourselves trying to stay in the game,” Graham added.
The Comets played a very strong second half of basketball, but the Warriors undefeated district record was not a fluke, they were prepared and battled to gut out the victory. After Halifax was able to cut the lead to three, three straight turnovers by Halifax late in the final quarter would seal the game for Magna Vista. The Warriors were able to turn those turnovers into points and the lead would be too much for Halifax to come back from.
The story of the game would be rebounding. Magna Vista outrebounded Halifax on both ends of the court, and when you grab the amount of offensive rebounds that Magna Vista did, it is hard to keep the game close.
“The difference I would say is that we got outrebounded almost four to one. They made so many offensive rebounds on us. They got so many second and third chances on offense and you cannot let a good team like that get that many chances on the offensive end,” Graham added.
Senior Dee Dee Jeffress would finish her final regular season game with Halifax by scoring a team high 16 points. Demeisha Canada had 11 points, Ella Morrison finished with 6, Shamya Hankins and Dezheona Mitchell each added two points for the Comets. Talitha Marable would add a free throw to complete the scoring.
The Comets will not be making up the game against Patrick County that was cancelled last week due to flooding, therefore Halifax finished the regular season with a 16-5 record overall and 7-4 in the Piedmont District.
The Halifax girls earned the number three seed in the Piedmont District Tournament that begins Friday night.
The Comets will host the six seed Tunstall at 6 p.m. at Halifax County High School.