Big finish for Callaway
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
BREMEN – A strong finish propelled the Callaway Lady Cavaliers to a much-needed region win over home-standing Bremen on Saturday.
Trailing by five points, Callaway outscored Bremen 26-17 in the fourth quarter to get the 61-56 come-from-behind victory and take a strangle-hold on second place in Region 5-AA.
Callaway (12-8 overall) improved to 8-2 in the region, and it has a two-game lead over Lamar County, which fell to 7-4 in the region.
Had Lamar County won Saturday’s game, it would have moved into a second-place tie with Callaway.
Lamar County also would have won both regular-season meetings with Callaway, so it would have owned the tie-breaker advantage.
Thanks to the fourth-quarter rally, Callaway will sew up the number two seed for the region tournament by winning one of its final two regular-season games this week against Jordan and Lamar County.
Lamar County, which beat Callaway in the region-championship game last season, is 10-0 in the region.
If the Lady Cavaliers get the number two seed, they’ll receive a bye into the region-tournament semifinals while also securing a spot at state.
Senior post player Kierra Jackson helped lead Callaway to the win on Saturday by scoring a team-best 16 points, and she also pulled down 20 rebounds.
Freshman guard Gabrielle Johnson made three 3-pointers and scored 15 points, and she had nine points during the decisive fourth quarter.
Jasmine Dukes scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter, and Camryn Stargell had 11 points as well.
Niakoe Burks scored six points, all in the fourth quarter, and she had nine rebounds.
Callaway was playing from behind from the get-go.
Callaway was down 18-9 after the first quarter, but it came to life in the second quarter to trim Bremen’s lead to 27-23 at the half.
Bremen outscored Callaway 13-12 in the third quarter to take a five-point lead into the final eight minutes.
“It really started in the second quarter. We battled back within four,” Callaway head coach Deyano Martin said. “And that fourth quarter, we played really good basketball.”
In the decisive fourth quarter, Johnson and Dukes each made two 3-pointers, and the Lady Cavaliers were 10-of-13 from the free-throw line.