Callaway finishes busy week
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They won the ones that counted.
The Callaway Cavaliers lost on a last-second shot to the Newnan Cougars on Saturday, and they finished a busy opening week with a 3-2 record.
Two of those games came against Region 5-AA opponents, and the Cavaliers won them both.
Callaway beat Heard County and Lamar County to open its region schedule in fine style.
The Cavaliers were hopeful of extending their overall winning streak to four with a win on Saturday, but it was the Cougars earning the 42-40 victory after making the go-ahead shot with one second left.
Callaway was playing without some key players, including senior Antinez Blount, who was unable to go with an illness.
“I told them I’m proud of them,” said head coach Terry Hayes, whose team was playing for the fifth time in six days. “They’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.”
The Cavaliers got a late start to the season because the football team made it to the state semifinals.
Many of the key basketball players also played football, and there was one week between the end of one season and the start of another.
The players will get some much-needed time off before Callaway hosts Valley on Friday.
“I told them go rest, take care of yourself, and come back Thursday and we’ll get after it,” Hayes said.
In Saturday’s game, Demetrius Coleman led the Cavaliers with 15 points, and Duke Simpson scored 10 points.
Javien Brownlee made two 3-pointers and scored six points, and Javontay Boddie had six points.
In Saturday’s girls’ game, Newnan pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Callaway 44-29.
Sophomore guard Gabrielle Johnson did most of the scoring for Callaway with 23 of her team’s 29 points.
“She’s the most consistent scorer we have,” Callaway head coach Deyano Martin said. “Every game she does something.”
The loss put an end to a frustrating week for Callaway, which played five games in six days and went 0-5.
Most of the key players on the team are sophomores, including Johnson, Niakoe Burks and Camryn Stargell, and a handful of other players are getting their first taste of varsity basketball.
“We’ve got to remember that all of these girls are sophomores,” Martin said. “There’s only three with experience at all. Everybody else on the team has never played. So it’ll be all right. It’ll turn around.”