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Bounce-back season for Cavaliers

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

Different year, different team.

With two freshmen starters and precious little experience, the Callaway Cavaliers were in a lot of games during the 2017-2018 season, but wins were hard to come by.

The Cavaliers lost in the first round of the Region 5-AA tournament, putting an end to a challenging season as they finished with just three wins.

Flash forward a year and things are a lot different for the Cavaliers.

With Thursday’s 75-54 home win over Jordan, Callaway has secured the number two seed for next week’s region tournament.

The Cavaliers will have a bye into the semifinals, and they’re guaranteed one of the region’s four spots in the state tournament.

Callaway (10-10 overall), which is 8-3 in the region, will wrap up the regular season with today’s home game against Lamar County.

Callaway will then wait to find out who it will play in the semifinals next week.

Terry Hayes, Callaway’s veteran head coach, said “it’s gratifying” to see the team turn things around this season.

“It was a learning year, and we’re still learning,” Hayes said. “But they’ve improved a lot from last year.”

Hayes did add, though, that “we’ve got a lot to work on. We’ve got to do a lot of work on our man-to-man, we’ve got to make sure we rotate. Don’t worry about the score. Just do the fundamental stuff.”

Duke Simpson, a junior forward who was a part of the rebuilding process last season, led the team with 22 points against Jordan.

Demetrius Coleman, who along with Javontay Boddie started as a freshman last season, scored 18 points, with 10 of them coming in the opening quarter.

Boddie and Antinez Blount each scored 11 points.

The Cavaliers took care of business early, surging to a 10-2 lead and they were ahead 18-9 after the first quarter.

Jordan got within six early in the second quarter, but Callaway regained control and took a 35-22 lead at the half.

The Cavaliers had at least a double-digit lead throughout the second half.

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