Callaway, LaGrange set for rematch

Published 2:08 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

The Callaway Cavaliers won’t have to wait long to get another shot at LaGrange.

On Saturday, Callaway opened its season with a 76-43 loss to LaGrange.

It was close late in the second quarter, but the Grangers extended their lead to 10 at the half, and they rolled to the 33-point victory.

Callaway was supposed to open its season on Friday against Troup, but that game was postponed because of the winter weather.

Against the Grangers, the Cavaliers were within four with a little more than two minutes left in the first half, but they were outscored 57-18 the rest of the way.

“They beat us, and they should have,” Callaway head coach Terry Hayes said. “They’re good. They did their job. I’m not taking anything away from them.”

Hayes does expect his team to improve as it gets more time on the court.

The full team has only been together for two weeks since football season didn’t end until Nov. 29 when Callaway lost to Brooks County.

Many of Callaway’s key players were members of the football team, so they’re still in the transition stage, and there were also two freshmen in the starting lineup on Saturday.

The Cavaliers will play three games this week as they look to find their footing.

Callaway will host Troup on Friday, and it will visit Greenville on Saturday.

“It’ll take us some time, maybe the third or fourth game,” Hayes said. “And more practices will help.”

The two freshmen who started on Saturday were Demetrius Coleman and Ja’Vontay Boddie, and they combined for 10 points.

They’re both talented players, but there is still an adjustment period for freshmen, no matter how gifted they are.

“It’s a big difference between middle school and high school,” Hayes said.

Mark Veal’s Grangers, meanwhile, are hoping to continue their hot streak.

After dropping their first two games, the Grangers have won three in a row to improve to 3-2.

The first two wins were in overtime, but there was no suspense in Saturday’s game.

While Bo Russell had another big night with 19 points, LaGrange’s second-leading scorer was sophomore post player Early Sanders, who had 12 points.

Sanders got more playing time than expected because starter Jordan Ogletree was in foul trouble, and he came through with a stellar effort.

Junior post player Vondez Taylor also provided some key minutes and scored six points, all in the first half.

“We’ve put a lot of time into him, and he’s put a lot of time into us, and he had a really good game tonight,” Veal said of Early. “He had some confidence-building moments at Harris County, and he came in tonight and had a good game tonight with Jordan in foul trouble. And Vondez Taylor came in and did a good job in the first half as well.”

Also today, the LaGrange and Callaway girls’ teams will meet for the second time in four days.

On Saturday, LaGrange (3-3) beat Callaway 64-52.

It was the second game for Callaway (1-1), which opened its season with an impressive 61-56 road win over Whitewater.

While it was a disappointing day for Callaway, head coach Deyano Martin believes the future is bright for his team.

“I think we’re better than we were last year. I really do,” Martin said. “And we had a big season last year. But I think we’re better.”

Senior post player Chyna Cameron is off to a fast start this season, leading the team in scoring in both games, and she had 13 points against LaGrange.

LaGrange’s Chnaireia Strozier led the way with 24 points in Saturday’s game, while fellow senior guard Aryan Dozier had 20 points.

As was the case on Saturday, LaGrange head coach Stephen Tuck expects to see a large and boisterous crowd at today’s game.

“When you go to the state playoffs, these are the kinds of crowds you’re going to get,” Tuck said. “I think it’s good. It’s entertaining, and the girls want the fans to see good, fun basketball.”

LaGrange’s teams end the week with road games on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, LaGrange’s teams will visit McIntosh, and they’ll be at South Paulding on Saturday.

Callaway’s teams will host Troup on Friday before visiting Greenville on Saturday.