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November 10, 2013

Comets make playoffs despite loss

VELMA — The good news for Velma-Alma is that it’s in the playoffs. The bad news, it’s riding a two-game losing streak.

The 26-24 final at Healdton Friday made it so the Comets (5-5, 4-3) finished fourth in the district due to point margin. The Bulldogs (5-5, 4-3) could have bounced the Comets from that spot had they won by 15 or more points. If the Comets could have won, they would have finished third in the district.

As it sits, the three way tie between Rush Springs, Velma-Alma and Healdton, means Rush Springs and Velma-Alma are in.

In both losses, as well as the 30-20 nailbiter against Rush Springs the week before, the Comets played a brilliant first half only to see their team fall apart in the second half. Against Rush Springs (4-5, 4-3) they got the timely plays to pull out the victory. Versus Empire and Healdton, no help came.

If the Comets are to make it out of the first round against Minco (9-1, 6-0), coach Greg Gothard knows the team has to put together a full performance.

“It’s just a characteristic of us right now that we don’t like,” Gothard said. “This year we have got to get it fixed quick. These guys are better than that.

“We’re not the complete package yet, because of that breakdown.”

Gothard’s team shot out to an 18-6 lead at the half on Friday, but thinking it had the game locked up was a mistake. He said the team can’t get relaxed with a lead in the game.

“I don’t know if we are resting on the good or we’ve got it on cruise,” Gothard said. “Putting the last nail in the coffin, we have just never done that. No killer instinct, whatever. It’s just a missing part of our game right now.”

Senior Alan Beck came up with a few important catches to seal the win against Rush Springs (4-5, 4-3). Gothard thought he helped the team have a chance versus Healdton, but that the team still needs somebody to step up and make a play when the momentum is going the other way.

“We’ve just got to have a will man, somebody to step up make that big hit, interception or fumble recovery,” Gothard said. “We had our opportunities but just didn’t do it.”

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