Callaway hoops teams fall to Newnan
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
NEWNAN – They hung in there for a half, but the Callaway Cavaliers were unable to keep pace with the Newnan Cougars in the final two quarters on the way to a 68-42, season-opening loss on Friday night.
It was not only the Cavaliers’ first game, but many of the players had only been practicing for a few days since football season didn’t end until last week.
When Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby hit a 3-pointer with seven seconds left in the second quarter, Newnan’s lead was 28-25, and that was the score at the half.
The third quarter was a tough one for the Cavaliers, who were outscored 17-6 to fall behind 45-31 heading to the final quarter.
Newnan had a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Trailing 22-13 in the second quarter, the Cavaliers put together their best stretch of the game to get within three at the break.
Ja’Vontay Boddie scored on two consecutive trips down the floor to cut Newnan’s lead to five, and Duke Simpson’s basket with 3:35 left in the half made it a 22-19 game.
After Newnan went back up by six, Bigsby knocked down a 3-pointer late in the half to get the Cavaliers within three.
Callaway struggled to get much going in the third quarter, with Simpson making the only two field goals for the visiting team as Newnan extended its lead to 14 points.
The Cavaliers had more offensive success in the fourth quarter, but the deficit was too great.
Boddie led the Cavaliers with 13 points, while Jalin Shephard added nine points while making a pair of 3-pointers. Simpson contributed eight points, and Demetrius Coleman scored six points.
In the girls’ game, it was competitive after the first quarter, with Callaway trailing 15-10, but Newnan pulled away from there for a 58-29 victory.
It was the first game for the Lady Cavaliers, and it was the varsity debut for a handful of freshmen.
“We had a couple of young girls out there, and that was their first time in the fire,” Callaway head coach Deyano Martin said. “We’ve just got to get better, and I think we’ll get better with game experience. We’ll look like a totally different team down the road.”
One of those talented freshmen, Niakoe Burks, led Callaway with 11 points, and senior Kierra Jackson scored nine points.
Burks scored five points in the first quarter as Callaway stayed within five points of Newnan.
By the half, Newnan’s lead was 34-16 and Callaway trailed 47-27.
Hoping to mount a charge in the fourth quarter, Callaway was instead outscored 11-2.
Callaway’s teams will make their home debuts on Saturday against LaGrange, with the girls’ game tipping off at 4:30 p.m. and the boys’ game to follow.
Those same two teams will play again on Tuesday at LaGrange.