Thanks to a stellar overtime performance, the Cavaliers outlasted Douglass 79-72 Friday night to move into first place all by themselves in Region 4-AAA.
The game was a matchup of the two top teams in 4-AAA, with both teams coming into the game with 8-1 records in the region.
Douglass put together a late surge in regulation to pull even, but the four-minute overtime period belonged to Callaway.
The visiting Astros didn’t score in overtime until there were 10 seconds remaining and the outcome had long since been decided.
The Cavaliers turned a lot of their defensive attention on 6-foot-6 Demarcus Cunningham in overtime, and the Astros still tried to force the ball inside to him despite double and even triple teams.
The result was a bunch of turnovers for Douglass, and Callaway ran away with the victory.
“We got in overtime, and we double-downed on big number 10 (Cunningham),” Hayes said. “He’s a player. And they couldn’t score from outside.”
The Cavaliers struck first in overtime, with Nehemiah Jones coming up with a steal and score to make it a 72-70 game.
With 2:40 remaining, Terry Godwin scored, and the lead was four, and the Cavaliers kept pouring it on.
It took Douglass nearly two minutes in overtime before it even got a shot off.
Jones and Godwin each ended up with four points in overtime, and Brandon Bridges made a free throw.
The Cavaliers appeared to have things in hand in regulation.
With 4:14 remaining, a Patrick Strickland free throw gave the Cavaliers a 66-55 lead, but the Astros came charging back, and they tied it at 70-70 on a Jamario Duggan free throw with 40 seconds left.
Both teams had chances to hit the go-ahead basket in the closing moments, but neither squad could convert, so it was on to overtime.
“We turned the ball over too much. It was self-inflicted wounds,” Hayes said. “We’ve got to stop turning the ball over so much. But one thing about them, there’s no quit.”
The Cavaliers showed that when they came out and overwhelmed the Astros in overtime.
Jones led the Cavaliers with 23 points, Godwin added 14 points, and Bridges scored 10.
In Friday’s girls’ game, Callaway had no answers for Douglass in a 73-44 loss.
The Lady Cavaliers beat Douglass earlier this season, but they were overwhelmed in the rematch.
Douglass led 24-17 after the first quarter, 41-27 at the half, and 52-37 in the third period before blowing things open in the fourth quarter.
Monica Jackson had a big game in a losing effort for Callaway with 21 points, and Tanesha Johnson added 10 points.
Callaway’s teams will host Greenville at Hogansville Elementary School, with the girls’ game set to tip off at 6 p.m. and the boys’ game to follow.