By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
December 15, 2013
They took huge strides last season.
Now, the Callaway Lady Cavaliers are eyeing even bigger things.
The Cavaliers were a five-win team during the 2011-2012 season, but they enjoyed a major turnaround last season.
The Lady Cavaliers went 16-9, and they made it to the Region 4-AAA championship game and hosted a state-tournament game.
With a new season under way, Callaway is looking to expand on what it accomplished a year ago.
Callaway improved to 1-1 on the young season with a 55-46 victory over Bowdon on Saturday.
Callaway opened with a loss to Greenville on Friday.
“The season that we had last year, we’re trying to build on that,” said Deyano Martin, who is heading into his third season as the Lady Cavaliers’ head coach. “You just take it day by day. That’s our motto, day by day. Just try to get better one day at a time.”
The Lady Cavaliers lost a few key seniors, Latasha Anderson and Jamonica Dean, but everyone else is back, and there are also some talented newcomers.
Martin said these early-season games will be helpful.
“Right now, we’re just trying to get games under our belt,” Martin said. “We’re trying to get in a rhythm, and get the tempo up”
Against Bowdon, it looked liked Callaway was going to run away with it.
After trailing big in the fourth period, though, the Lady Red Devils got within a point at 46-45 with less than two minutes remaining, and they had the ball.
Kamaria Porter then came up with a steal, and Tanesha Johnson scored to give Callaway a 48-45 lead.
The Lady Cavaliers finished the game on a 9-1 run to win going away.
Johnson, who had an exceptional season as a freshman, came through with 19 points on Saturday.
Johnson scored 10 points in the second quarter.
Kristy Daniel added 15 points, and Monica Jackson scored eight points.
Porter chipped in with seven points, all in the first half.
“They made me work tonight,” Martin said. “We pulled it out. We’re learning.”
Martin said he did see plenty of areas where the team can improve.
One of those areas is free-throw shooting.
The Lady Cavaliers went to the free-throw line 30 times, but they only made 15 of those attempts.
“We have to do a better job of converting on free throws,” Martin said. “We have to do a better job of taking care of the ball early in the game. And we have to get in basketball shape. And that’s going to come with playing games.”
Martin was, though, glad to see his team pull out a win.
“Overall, it’s always good to get a win,” Martin said. “I’d rather have an ugly win, than an ugly loss.”