Cavaliers finish on winning note
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Callaway Cavaliers closed the regular season with a flourish.
Facing Lamar County on senior night, Callaway cruised to an 85-59 victory to secure the number two seed for next week’s Region 5-AA tournament.
Callaway (13-6 overall) finished with a 9-3 region record, and it will play a semifinal game on Thursday at Spencer High in Columbus.
Callaway heads into the region tournament on a four-game winning streak.
In Friday’s game, Callaway head coach Terry Hayes went with an all-senior starting lineup of Jacob Freeman, Duke Simpson, Jymere Jones, Javien Brownlee and Shamar Sherman.
Those men were on the court for most of the first quarter, and Callaway trailed 17-11.
“They did a real good job,” Hayes said. “They kept us in it until the starters came back in.”
The Cavaliers fought back in the second quarter, with senior Antinez Blount ending the first half with a dunk to give the home team a 33-28 lead.
The Cavaliers took over in the third quarter, outscoring the Trojans 29-13 to build a 62-41 lead.
Callaway continued to pull away in the fourth quarter before winning by 26 points.
Demetrius Coleman, who didn’t play until the second quarter, led the Cavaliers with 20 points.
Blount added 15 points, Javontay Boddie scored nine points, and freshman Kaleb Salter had 10 points, all in the fourth quarter.
In Friday’s girls’ game, Callaway hung tough with a Lamar County team that’s tied for the top spot in the region before losing 61-57.
Callaway (10-8 overall) finished with an 8-4 region record, and it will be the number four seed for next week’s region tournament.
Callaway will play Spencer on Tuesday, with the winner advancing to the semifinals to face top-seeded Lamar County.
In Friday’s game, Camryn Stargell led Callaway with 20 points, and Gabrielle Johnson scored 16 points and was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
Niakoe Burks added 10 points, and Javonna Bradford contributed nine points.
Callaway started quickly and had an 18-9 lead after the first quarter, but the lead was down to 28-26 by the half.
Lamar County led 45-40 after three quarters, and it remained tight in the fourth quarter.
“We had Gabby in early foul trouble, and that slowed us down a little bit. But, we still held our own,” Callaway head coach Deyano Martin said. “They did a good job in the second quarter. They got some momentum and got back in the game. From that point forward, it was a close game the whole way.”