Senior’s big night powers Callaway

Published 3:15 pm Thursday, January 25, 2018

By Kevin Eckleberry

Heard County had no answer for Callaway’s Chyna Cameron.

The senior post player put the team on her back in overtime of Wednesday’s game, scoring eight consecutive points to help Callaway earn a critical 57-55 Region 5-AA victory.

Callaway improved to 5-2 in the region and remained one game behind first-place Lamar County, and those two teams will meet on Friday in Barnesville.

“I felt like the girls gave tremendous effort, especially in that overtime period,” Callaway head coach Deyano Martin said. “They did a good job of executing what I asked them to do. They brought a lot of energy, they were listening to me, they were trying to do exactly what I asked of them.”

Cameron was the difference-maker in overtime.

She scored her team’s first eight points in overtime, with four of those points coming after she went up and pulled down an offensive rebound.

“I felt like Chyna had a monster game at the end,” Martin said. “She refused to lose. She just took over.”

Leijorey Sanders scored Callaway’s final two points in overtime, and they were big ones.

With Callaway clinging to a three-point lead, Sanders made a pair of free throws to put her team up by five.

Heard County hit a 3-pointer as time ran out, and Callaway escaped with a two-point win.

Callaway, after dropping two straight region games, has now won two in a row to remain in contention for the number one seed.

“I felt like the last couple of games we played with a lot of energy,” Martin said. “We played a little bit better as a team.

“All you can do is just get better.”

Callaway had a three-point lead after Haley Holliday made two free throws with 20 seconds remaining in regulation, but Sage Kelley’s 3-pointer tied it with eight seconds left.

Sanders took the inbounds pass and did a great job of getting to the basket, but her potential game-winning attempt just missed, and it was on to overtime.

In overtime, it was the Cameron show.

She was unstoppable, and her basket with 1:30 remaining gave the Lady Cavaliers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

With 20 seconds left, Heard County missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it, and Callaway got the rebound.

With 10 seconds left, Sanders was fouled, and she knocked down both free throws to give Callaway a five-point cushion.

Sanders, in addition to score nine points, did a terrific job from the point-guard position.

“She’s starting to play a whole lot better,” Martin said. “I’m real proud of her. She’s a sophomore, and there’s a lot of pressure on her. She’s starting to come into her own.”

There’s no doubt the difference-maker was Cameron, though.

After going scoreless in the second and third quarters combined, Cameron had 16 points in the fourth period and overtime combined.

“I hope she’ll bring it for the rest of this season,” Martin said.