A strong third-quarter effort helped lift the Callaway Lady Cavaliers to a season sweep of the rival LaGrange Lady Grangers.
LaGrange scored first in the third period to take a three-point lead, but buoyed by an enthusiastic home crowd, Callaway scored the next 13 points to seize control of the game.
The Lady Cavaliers led by at least six points the rest of the way, and they went on to claim a 55-43 victory.
Callaway also beat LaGrange 48-42 on Dec. 17.
“Any time it’s a rival game, a win is a win,” Callaway coach Deyano Martin said. “I’m proud of both teams. I thought both teams fought hard. I thought we put on a good show for the crowd. It was entertaining the whole time.”
For the Lady Grangers, a familiar problem arose.
LaGrange has struggled in the third quarter of late, and that was the case again Wednesday night.
“We’re not doing anything (in the third period),” LaGrange coach Jan Jones said. “We have to be able to come out and execute.”
Callaway led 9-8 after the first quarter, and it remained a tight game in the second period, with LaGrange taking a 21-19 lead at the half.
Erica Daniel made a free throw moments into the third period to give LaGrange a 22-19 lead.
The Lady Grangers didn’t score again until there were four minutes left in the third period, though, and by that point they found themselves facing a big deficit.
Tanesha Johnson kick-started the Lady Cavaliers’ 13-0 run with a 3-pointer that tied it at 22-22 with 7:40 remaining.
Over the next three minutes, Callaway scored 11 more points, with Kristy Daniel and Monica Jackson both hitting 3-pointers.
After LaGrange scored four straight points to get within eight, Daniel drained a 3-pointer to put Callaway up by 11.
By the time the quarter ended, Callaway led 38-28.
The Lady Grangers tried to make a game of it early in the fourth period, with Antoinesha Dozier and Deniya Thomas making back-to-back baskets to cut the deficit to six.
After Johnson responded with a 3-pointer to put the Lady Cavaliers back up by nine, Dozier completed a traditional three-point play to bring the deficit back to six with 6:28 remaining.
The Lady Cavaliers scored the next four points, though, and their lead was at least nine points the rest of the way.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well at the beginning of the game,” Martin said. “But I think late, we kind of settled in and started hitting some shots. As a result we were able to pull away from them.”
Johnson finished with 16 points to lead Callaway, and she made three 3-pointers.
Daniel added 12 points, and Jackson added nine points, with six of her points coming in the fourth quarter.
Dozier led LaGrange with 14 points, and Andrea Heflin added 13 points, and she made 7-of-8 attempts from the free-throw line.
Both teams will be at home on Friday for region games.
Callaway will face Coretta Scott King, and LaGrange will host Troup.