Cavaliers look for first win
By Kevin Eckleberry
They’re hoping this is their day.
The Callaway Cavaliers, who opened the season with back-to-back losses to the LaGrange Grangers, will look for win number one when they host the Troup Tigers today.
While the Cavaliers are 0-2, the Tigers will bring a 3-3 record into today’s game after beating Heard County 66-47 on Tuesday.
In today’s girls’ game, the Callaway Lady Cavaliers (1-2) will try to bounce back from consecutive losses to LaGrange, while Troup is 4-2 after beating Heard County 39-26.
Callaway’s boys’ team opened its season with a 76-43 loss to LaGrange on Saturday, and it lost the rematch 68-47 on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the Cavaliers were within 10 through three periods, but the Grangers pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Senior DQ Wilkerson, who was on a football recruiting visit to Mercer on Saturday, made his season debut and scored 12 points, and Antinz Blount and Ja’Vontay Boddie each scored 10 points.
Boddie is one of two freshmen along with Demetrius Coleman who has started both of Callaway’s games.
For Troup’s boys’ team, things are coming together.
The Tigers started 0-2, but that was before the football players joined the team.
Now that the Tigers are at full strength, they’ve won three out of four games, with the lone loss coming in overtime against the Kendrick Cherokees.
In Tuesday’s win over Heard County, senior point guard Jarrious Jefferson had another big game with 20 points, and post player Andy Boykin scored 12 points.
Ten different Troup players scored.
Troup’s girls’ team also has things moving in the right direction.
The Lady Tigers have won four of their past five games, and they’ll bring a three-game winning streak into today’s game.
As has been the case throughout the season, it was a balanced effort for Troup, with eight different players scoring.
Jedda Madden led the way with eight points, and Kiya Fulton, Aundracia Riggins and Amber Gilbert each scored six points.
Troup head coach Carla Thornton said it’s a selfless team, with the players not concerned about individual statistics.
“They love to play with each other,” Thornton said. “They love to see each other do well. We try to get each other open shots. I’m happy with that.”
Troup received a lift in Tuesday’s game with the return of Amber Gilbert, a sophomore post player who had knee surgery in the offseason.
Gilbert didn’t start, but she played parts of each of the final three quarters while scoring six points.
“We played her a few minutes to let her get her feet wet,” Troup head coach Carla Thornton said. “The pace of the game’s a lot different than it is in practice.”
Callaway’s girls’ team opened with a 61-56 win over Whitewater before falling to LaGrange 64-52 and 49-36.
In Tuesday’s game against LaGrange, senior post player Chyna Cameron had 16 points while leading the team in scoring for the third time in three games.
Callaway’s teams will have road games against Greenville on Saturday.
Also today, LaGrange High’s boys’ and girls’ teams will look to stay hot when they head to Peachtree City to play McIntosh.
The Lady Grangers (4-3) have won four of their past five games since opening with two straight losses.
On Tuesday, LaGrange was playing without leading scorer Aryan Dozier, and senior guard Chnaireia Strozier stepped up and scored 25 points while making 10-of-11 free-throw attempts in the 49-36 win over Callaway.
In the fourth quarter, LaGrange made 14-of-16 free-throw attempts.
Madison Coverson was a perfect six-for-six from the line. in the final quarter.
“Even though we missed some free throws, we made them when we really needed to,” LaGrange head coach Stephen Tuck said. “And I thought we did a good job getting to the free-throw line.”
LaGrange’s boys’ team is on a four-game winning streak after dropping its first two games.
Today’s challenge will be a big one.
McIntosh is 5-0, and it has won both of its Region 5-AAAAA games.
On Saturday, LaGrange’s boys’ team will be in Douglasville to play South Paulding.