Cameron’s big night powers Callaway

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

By Kevin Eckleberry

The Callaway Lady Cavaliers got a much-needed home win over Temple on Tuesday in a Region 5-AA game.

With its 41-40 victory, Callaway improved to 6-3 in the region heading into Friday’s regular-season finale against Spencer.

If Callaway beats Spencer, it will be the number two seed for the region tournament, and it will earn a bye into the semifinals.

If the Lady Cavaliers lose, they could finish as low as fourth, meaning they’d have to win a game to reach the region-tournament semifinals and earn a spot at state.

Temple only has two region wins and is in fifth place, but it stood toe-to-toe with Callaway.

Temple, in fact, had the ball at the end with a chance to win, but a jump shot at the buzzer hit the rim and bounced away, and Callaway escaped with the narrow victory.

Chyna Cameron, Callaway’s outstanding senior post player, was the difference-maker.

Cameron scored 20 points, and her free throw with 22 seconds left gave Callaway a one-point lead.

Cameron also pulled down nine rebounds, and she had four steals and four blocked shots.

Kierra Jackson was Callaway’s second-leading scorer with seven points, and she was 3-of-3 from the free-throw line.

“I told Chyna we were going to get it to her,” Callaway head coach Deyano Martin said. “It seemed like she wanted to come play tonight. We had to get her the ball.”

Temple’s Mackenzie Holt hit a 3-pointer with 50 seconds remaining to deadlock the score at 40-40.

That’s the way it remained until Cameron was fouled while shooting, and she made one-of-two from the free-throw line to give Callaway the lead.

With nine seconds left, Cameron went up and grabbed a defensive rebound, and Callaway still led by one.

After two missed free throws, Temple got the ball with an opportunity to steal a road win, but the potential game-winner was off-target.

“It looked like we were playing in slow motion, but we won,” Martin said.

Temple surged to a 16-9 lead after the first quarter, but Callaway rallied to take a 23-21 lead at the half.

Cameron led the second-quarter charge with nine points.

Callaway led 33-31 through three quarters.