Callaway teams making move in region
Published 10:59 pm Thursday, January 26, 2017
By Kevin Eckleberry
HOGANSVILLE – They’re trending in the right direction.
The Callaway Cavaliers opened their Region 5-AAA schedule with three consecutive losses, but they’ve won three of four since then.
With Tuesday’s 59-48 win over Jordan, Callaway (6-8 overall) is in fourth place in the region, and that’s good enough for fourth place.
“I think we’re getting better, but we’ve still got a long way to go,” Callaway head coach Terry Hayes said.
The hope for the Cavaliers is that they’ll be peaking by the time the region tournament arrives, and that could be bad news for the opposition.
Callaway has won four consecutive region championships, although most of the players responsible for the previous titles have moved on.
Callaway’s most experienced player is senior Braylon Sanders, and he had 15 points in Tuesday’s win over Jordan.
Sanders has not been there for every game, though, since he has taken recruiting visits on the past few weekends to Colorado State and Washington State.
Callaway’s most consistent scorer has been junior guard Tamarcus Smith, who had 21 points in Tuesday’s win over Jordan.
Heard County is the team that Callaway and everyone else in the region is chasing.
Under first-year head coach Keith Simmons, Heard County (17-4 overall) is 7-0 in the region, and that includes two wins over Callaway.
“We are just taking it one game at a time right now,” Simmons told the Heard Citizen following Tuesday’s home win over Temple. “Right now our number one goal is to keep winning one at a time in order to get the best seed we can for the region tournament. Ultimately, that tournament is where we will need to play well to set ourselves up for a top seed at state.”
Spencer has a losing record overall, but it is 4-2 in the region, and Temple is a game back at 3-4.
Callaway (3-4), Jordan (2-5) and Lamar County (1-6) are the bottom three teams in the region.
The Cavaliers have three region games remaining, and if they win them all, they’d have a great chance to finish second in the region which would give them a bye into the semifinals of the region tournament.
That would also guarantee a state-tournament berth for the Cavaliers.
On the girls’ side of the region, Callaway is part of a log-jam of teams fighting for the second position.
While Heard County is sitting atop the region with a 6-1 record, the next four teams are all within one game of each other.
That includes Callaway, which is in a tie for second place with Lamar County at 4-3.
Callaway isn’t far away from being the team leading the way in the region.
In their three region losses, the Lady Cavaliers have been outscored by just nine points, and that included a one-point loss at Heard County on Friday.
Still, the Lady Cavaliers are in great position to possibly finish second, which would give them a bye into the final four of the region tournament while guaranteeing them a spot at state.
Callaway has three region games remaining, beginning with Friday’s home showdown against Lamar County.
If Callaway wins out, it would secure the number two seed for the region tournament.
REGION 5-AA STANDINGS
Overall record first, followed by region record:
Heard County 16-5, 6-1
Lamar County 9-10, 4-3
Callaway 4-11, 4-3
Temple 7-13, 3-3
Jordan 9-9, 3-4
Spencer 0-18, 0-6
Heard County 17-4, 7-0
Spencer 7-13, 7-0
Temple 11-8, 3-3
Callaway 6-8, 3-4
Jordan 7-13, 2-5
Lamar County 4-17, 1-6