After struggling mightily the past three seasons, the Lady Cavaliers have turned things around in a big way this season, winning 16 games and finishing second in Region 4-AAA to earn a home playoff game.
Now, the Lady Cavaliers (16-8) have a chance to make a special season even more meaningful with a state-tournament victory.
Callaway will host Tatnall County in a first-round game today, with tip off set for 6 p.m.
The task is a tough one for the Lady Cavaliers.
Tatnall County brings a 22-5 record into the game, and it finished third in the Region 1-AAA tournament to secure that region’s number three seed.
Callaway is the number two seed from Region 4-AAA after losing to Chapel Hill in the region-championship game.
Win or lose, it’s been an amazing season for the Lady Cavaliers.
In the previous three seasons combined, Callaway’s girls’ team won just nine games, but the Lady Cavaliers eclipsed that win total in the middle of January and haven’t slowed down since.
Still, Callaway head coach Deyano Martin said after the Lady Cavaliers won a game to make it to state that no one is satisfied.
“We’ve accomplished a whole lot so far, but I want more. We have more goals,” Martin said. “You have to go out there and keep working every night.”
The Lady Cavaliers won two games in the 2009-2010 season, and two games again the following season.
During the 2011-2012 season, the Lady Cavaliers improved to five wins in Martin’s first year at the helm, and they’ve been played well since the get-go this season.
One of the team’s two seniors, Latasha Anderson, said earlier this season the game means a lot more to the players than it used to.
The other senior is Jamonica Dean.
“It was just a game, now it’s our life, it’s our family, it’s our team and coach Martin is serious about it,” Anderson said. “He puts his all into it. We respect him for that. He pushes us to the limit, but in the end, you’re like, ‘it was so worth it.’ He pushes each and every one of us. He expects the best out of all of us.”
The Lady Cavaliers haven’t been in the state tournament since the 2008-2009 season, and they lost to Buford in the first round that year.
Today’s game will be played at home, and Martin has tried to emphasize to the players the importance of defending their home court.
Martin told the players, on game day, “it’s your house. You don’t let another team come in and take over your home. You just got to come out here and fight.”
If Callaway wins tonight, it would be on the road for a second-round game against Washington County, which beat Carver in a first-round game on Tuesday.