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Lady Cavaliers chasing state success

Callaway on road for first-round game

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com

Callaway senior guard Tanesha Johnson, who scored 18 points in Saturday’s region-tournament victory over Rockmart, will lead her team during today’s state-tournament game at Hart County. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/02/web1_CHS2-4.jpgCallaway senior guard Tanesha Johnson, who scored 18 points in Saturday’s region-tournament victory over Rockmart, will lead her team during today’s state-tournament game at Hart County. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

Callaway senior Zamari Hardnett is preparing for her final state-tournament appearance. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/02/web1_CHS3.jpgCallaway senior Zamari Hardnett is preparing for her final state-tournament appearance. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

HOGANSVILLE – He’s hoping his team can make history today.

The Callaway Lady Cavaliers will be on the road for their state-tournament opener today, and head coach Deyano Martin believes the opportunity is there for his team to accomplish something no other girls’ team in school history has done.

Callaway, the number three seed from Region 5-AAA, will face Region 8-AAA runnerup Hart County at 6 p.m. in the first round of the 32-team tournament.

The winner will advance to play a second-round game on Friday.

“I think we’re capable of going up there and getting a win,” Martin said. “That’ll be the first time in girls’ basketball history at Callaway High a team advanced past the first round. We’ve got a chance to make history. And I feel like we’re capable.”

The Lady Cavaliers have been playing well.

They’ve won four of their past five games, and that included a 47-43 victory over Rockmart on Saturday that wrapped up the number three seed.

The one loss during that stretch was a tough one.

In the semifinals of the region tournament on Friday, Callaway had a great chance to win and advance to the championship game, but it lost to Pepperell 45-43.

In an indication of the resilience of the team, though, the Lady Cavaliers got off to a strong start the following day against Rockmart, showing no signs of a hangover after the disappointing loss the day before.

In the win over Rockmart, Callaway showed off its versatility.

Sophomore post player Chyna Cameron, who presents major headaches for opposing teams, scored 18 points, and she had 10 of those points in the first quarter.

Senior Tanesha Johnson also scored 18 points, and she did it from her guard position.

While Cameron and Johnson did most of the scoring against Rockmart, Martin said there are a handful of other players capable of filling up the stat sheet as well.

“That’s what I like about this team. There’s really no single person on the team to rely on,” Martin said. “Any of these girls can beat you. KiKi Owens can give you 13 one night, and Alexus Scott will give you 13. And then Chyna will give you 18, and Tanesha will give you 20 sometimes. And Zamari (Hardnett), she can have a big night. It’s spread out.”

Hart County will be a tough opponent.

The Lady Bulldogs are 23-5, and they reached the championship game of their region tournament before losing to Morgan County.

Before that loss, Hart County had won nine of its previous 10 games.

“They do what they do well,” Martin said. “They’ll try to put pressure on you. I think they shoot really well. So we’ll have to put a hand in their face, and just have a lot of energy.”

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports