Cavaliers fight hard in state loss

Published 12:26 am Friday, February 24, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

SANDERSVILLE – The Callaway Cavaliers kept it close most of the way, but it was home-standing Washington County pulling away in the closing moments for a 72-62 victory in the second round of the Class AA state tournament on Thursday.

It brought an end to a successful season for the Cavaliers (12-11), who finished second in the Region 5-AA tournament before beating Coosa in the opening round of the state tournament.

“I’m very proud of them,” Callaway head coach Terry Hayes said. “They played hard. They competed until the end. I told them that at the end of the game.”

Braylon Sanders, putting an end to a remarkable athletic career at Callaway, led the way with 24 points.

Another one of the team’s seniors, Tamarcus Smith, scored 13 points in his final high-school game.

Kedrick Ramsey and DQ Wilkerson, who will be foundations of next season’s team, each scored nine points.

Callaway led 8-6 after the first quarter, but Washington County rallied to take a 26-20 lead at the half.

Washington County maintained its six-point lead in the third period, and it was ahead 42-36 heading to the fourth quarter.

It was a four-point game with a little more than four minutes remaining, but Washington County was able to extend the lead late and put it away.

“It wasn’t our night,” Hayes said. “Give them credit. They played really well, made their free throws.”

While disappointed to see the season come to a close, Hayes said he was proud of what the team accomplished.

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Hayes said. “We were 0-3 (in the region), and we made it to the sweet 16. That’s a big accomplishment.”