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Lady Cavaliers continue to excel

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

A special season rolls along for the Callaway Lady Cavaliers, who overwhelmed Union County 72-45 on Wednesday in the opening round of the Class AA state tournament.

A state-tournament field that began with 32 teams is now down to 16, and Callaway (14-6) can make it to the final eight with a victory over Chattooga on Saturday.

Callaway, which won the Region 5-AA championship, has won six straight games and eight of nine overall.

“I told them it’s a five-game season,” said Callaway head coach Deyano Martin. “We took one step. Each step is getting tougher and tougher. We’ll have to be ready to go.”

Union County hung tough in the early going, and Callaway held a 22-17 lead at the close of the first quarter.

The Lady Cavaliers took control in the second quarter and had a 39-23 lead at the half, and they continued to pull away in the second half.

“They came out and hit us in the mouth, and we finally settled down, and got some easy buckets,” Martin said.

Freshman Jazmine Thornton had a big game for Callaway with 19 points, and Niakoe Burks added 15 points.

Freshman post player Lacy Thomas contributed 13 points and was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line, and junior guard Gabrielle Johnson scored 13 points and was 4-of-6 on free-throw attempts.

Camryn Stargell scored seven points and, along with Thomas, made things difficult in the paint for Union County.

The Lady Cavaliers came out firing and scored 22 points in the opening quarter, with Johnson doing a lot of the damage with nine points.

In the second quarter, Burks and Thornton combined for 12 points as Callaway outscored Union County 17-6 to build a 16-point lead.

Burks and Thornton had another combined 12 points in the third quarter as Callaway put the game on ice by outscoring Union County 19-12 to take a commanding 58-35 lead.