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Lady Cavaliers hang tough in loss

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

It was a losing night, but the Callaway Lady Cavaliers made their presence felt.

Facing a formidable East Coweta team that is having an exceptional season, Callaway lost 69-53, but it kept things much more competitive after a rocky start.

East Coweta surged to a 21-9 lead after the first quarter,

and it held a double-digit lead the rest of the way to improve to 13-2.

For Callaway, it was a chance to play a strong opponent from a higher classification.

“Those are the kind of teams we’ll have to play if we go where we want to go (in the state tournament),” Callaway head coach Deyano Martin said.

Callaway got the deficit down close to 10 points in the fourth quarter before East Coweta pulled away to win by 16.

“It was a real slow start. They were hitting every shot, and you’ve got to give them credit, they were knocking down shots,” Martin said. “But, I think we were resilient. We hung in there as a team, and we played hard and got back into the game. We just turned it on too late and didn’t quite get there.”

Gabrielle Johnson led Callaway with 21 points, the second straight game she reached that total, and she scored 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Jazmine Thornton added nine points and was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line, and Niakoe Burks and Camryn Stargell scored seven points apiece.

Takayla Tucker contributed six points, all in the second half.

After hosting Lanett on Tuesday, Callaway returns to its Region 5-AA schedule on Friday with a game at Temple.

Callaway (6-5 overall) is 3-1 in Region 5-AA, and it is one game behind Heard County.

Callaway’s lone loss came at Heard County on Jan. 19, and those teams will play again at Callaway on Feb. 5.

Callaway has put itself in position to possibly be the region’s top seed for the region tournament despite having a handful of freshmen either starting of playing a lot.

“We’re a lot younger than we appear, and sometimes we forget that,” Martin said. “Even though we’re talented, we still have to remember there’ll be some young plays made. We’ll live with it.”