Cavaliers at full strength for first time

Published 11:22 pm Monday, January 4, 2021

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Daily News

On a Tuesday afternoon in Atlanta, the Callaway High football team beat Fitzgerald in a 22-17 thriller to give the program its first-ever state championship.

Four days later, a handful of those players traded in their shoulder pads for a basketball uniform, and they were on the court as Callaway faced off against Handley (Ala.) in a road game.

Callaway had a four-point lead late in the first quarter, but Handley went on a 14-0 run to take control, and it claimed a 63-48 victory.

The Cavaliers had two practices together as a full team before Saturday’s game, and not surprisingly, it was an up-and-down effort.

“The more time we spend together, the more time we spend working on different things, the more chemistry we’ll build,” said Andre Johnson, Callaway’s first-year head coach.

Demetrius Coleman, a standout quarterback on the football team that won the program’s first-ever state title, led Callaway in scoring with 20 points.

Coleman made three 3-pointers, and he scored 15 of his points in the second half.

Kaleb Salter added six points for Callaway, and Chauncey Bradford scored five points.

Eleven Callaway players appeared in the game, and nine of them scored.

“We have so many athletes, and it’s hard to get them all in,” Johnson said. “That’s something we’ll work on.”

The Cavaliers, after falling behind 4-2, went on an 8-0 run to take a 10-6 lead with 1:10 left in the first quarter.

Handley closed the first quarter on an 8-0 run to go up 14-10, and it carried that momentum over into the second quarter to take a 38-22 lead at the half.

Callaway got as close as 15 points in the third quarter on a Coleman jumper with 4:06 to play, but by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Handley had a 56-35 lead.

A Cameron Smith basket with 6:20 left in the game got the Cavaliers within 14, but that’s as close as they came the rest of the way.

Callaway (0-4) will look for its first win of the season when it visits Newnan on Tuesday.