The Cavaliers, since opening the season with a 1-5 record, have only lost twice since, and they soared past Douglass 74-64 Saturday night in Atlanta to capture the Region 4-AAA championship.
The Cavaliers (16-7) will look to keep the good times rolling when they host Beach at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the opening round of the Class AAA state tournament.
Callaway’s girls’ team, meanwhile, also played for a region championship Saturday night, but it lost to Chapel Hill 40-29.
The Lady Cavaliers still earned a home playoff game by finishing second in the region, and they’ll host Tatnall County at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Cavaliers struggled a bit against a tough non-region schedule early, but they’ve been sailing along since the start of region play winning 15 of their past 17 games.
“I’m very proud of the guys. To start the season 1-5, and come all the way back and win the region championship, shows they’ve got a lot of heart,” Callaway head coach Terry Hayes said. “They never quit. They have a never-day-die attitude. That’s what I like about them.
“The players like each other. They know their responsibilities. They go out their and bust their behinds for 32 minutes.”
The Cavaliers needed those qualities Saturday night to beat a tough Douglass team.
The Cavaliers trailed for much of the game, but they grabbed the lead in the fourth quarter and they didn’t relinquish it.
“They were hot as firecrackers. They couldn’t miss a shot,” Hayes said. “We finally wore them down.”
Hayes said it was the Cavaliers’ pressure defense that made the difference late.
“We started with full-court, man-to-man and trapping and stealing the ball,” Hayes said.
Nehemiah Jones had a big game for the Cavaliers with 25 points, Dre Martin added 14 points, Brandon Bridges scored 12 and Patrick Strickland contributed nine points.
In Saturday’s girls’ game, the Lady Cavaliers (16-9) battled top-seeded Central-Carroll nearly to a standstill in the first half, but they were unable to keep pace in the second half.
The Lady Cavaliers trailed 5-4 after the first period, and 12-11 at the half.
By the close of the third quarter, though, Chapel Hill had a 31-21 lead, and it was able to hold onto that lead in the final period.
Tanesha Johnson led Callaway with 11 points, and Monica Jackson scored seven points.