Cavalier Boys Basketball Wins Region Title On Clutch Free Throw from DeShun Coleman

Published 9:50 pm Saturday, February 19, 2022

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The Callaway boys basketball team held on to secure their second straight Region 5-AA championship with a 53-52 win over Heard County Saturday. The Cavaliers swept the Braves in the regular season, but this victory was even sweeter than those. 

“[Blood Pressure] is high!” Head Coach Andre Johnson said. “But hopefully it will come down a little bit now.”

It was a grind it out defensive game as neither team got in any sort of offensive rhythm. 

The game did not see its first points scored until the Braves got a basket with 6:19 left to go in the first which started a quick 5-0 run for the Braves. DeShun Coleman answered with a personal 5-0 run which started a 9-0 run for the Cavaliers to take the lead. Callaway’s defense only allowed two points over the final five minutes of the first quarter and took a 12-7 lead into the second quarter. 

Once again, the Cavaliers offense got off to a slow start in the second quarter, only scoring two points over the first three minutes. The Braves battled back and tied the game at 16 all with 3:58 to go in the half. The Cavaliers quickly regained their lead and maintained it until Roro Edmondson nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game at 22 with five seconds to go in the half. Callaway failed to get a shot off before the buzzer as it had to settle for a tie heading into the break. 

The Cavaliers retook the lead with 6:57 left in the third quarter. The Braves quickly tied it back up at 26 before Coleman splashed a deep 3-pointer with a hand in his face to quiet the away crowd. Cameron Smith followed this up with a basket and a foul to kick start a 10-0 run to give the Cavaliers their first double-digit lead of the game. The Braves rattled off four points of their own to cut the lead back down to six. The Braves kept chipping away at the lead and eventually cut it down to two points with 30 seconds to go in the third quarter. The Cavaliers got two free throws to stretch the lead back up to four heading into the decisive fourth quarter. 

Both the home and away crowd cheered and booed every possession as the game was in the balance in the fourth quarter. 

Coleman hit another huge 3-pointer from deep with 6:07 left in the game to give Callaway some momentum. Every time it felt like the Braves were getting back into the ballgame the Cavaliers had an answer. It was the Coleman show in the fourth quarter as he nailed another 3-pointer with a little over four minutes to go before the Braves answered with a  3-pointer of their own. A basket in the paint on the ensuing possession trimmed the Cavaliers lead down to two. Heard County hit two free throws to tie the game at 52 with 1:11 left in the game. Coleman was the hero all night and sank a free throw with 16 seconds to go to give the Cavaliers the lead before Heard County missed a 3-pointer with four seconds left that would have given the Braves the lead.

“I’m proud of these boys, they learned how to play through adversity,” Johnson said. “I’m proud of my coaching staff. They helped me, they questioned me, we go at it on strategies so I’m loving everybody right now.”

Coleman ended the game with four made threes and a total of 18 points to lead the Cavaliers to victory.

“He was patient all night and that was just what we needed from him,” Johnson said.

Callaway earned a no. 1 seed in the state tournament and will host Coosa High School in the first round of the state tournament next week.