Lady Cavaliers continue fast start
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
COLUMBUS – What a start to the season it’s been for the Callaway Lady Cavaliers.
With Wednesday’s 56-10 road win over Columbus, Callaway is 3-0, and it has won each of those games in dominant fashion.
It’s a mixture of veteran players including juniors Gabrielle Johnson, Niakoe Burks and Camryn Stargell, as well as some talented newcomers, among them freshman post player Lacy Thomas, who was a star for Callaway Middle School last season.
So far at least, everything has come together nicely, with all of the players doing their part to help Callaway get off to a fantastic start.
“(This team) could be special,” said Callaway head coach Deyano Martin. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication, and the right attitude. Just keep working hard.”
Callaway, playing on the road for the third time this season, had no trouble with Columbus.
Callaway was ahead 28-3 after the first quarter, and it led 46-3 at the half.
The quarters were shortened to six minutes in the second half, and Martin made sure to get everyone on the roster plenty of time on the court.
The three games the Lady Cavaliers have played so far gave Martin a chance to experiment with different lineups, and to give the players an opportunity to get to know each other.
“That’s what all these early games are for, trying to jell, trying to get all the players used to playing with one another,” Martin said. “As long as we do that, we’ll be fine. We’re going to learn on the run a little bit. We’re trying to pick up the tempo, play a little faster.”
Johnson, a junior guard who has started since she was a freshman, led Callaway with 11 points, all in the first half.
Stargell, a talented post player, scored all 10 of her points in the first half, and Thomas added nine points after leading the team with 18 points and 23 rebounds in a win over Jordan.
Trinity Hill and Burks scored eight points apiece, Kristal Stephens chipped in with six points, and freshman Z’Leah Cameron had four points.
On a team with so many new players, Martin is glad to have Johnson, Burks and Stargell leading the way.
“Those three should be the leaders of the team, and they’re doing a good job right now,” Martin said.
As for the new players, Martin has been pleased with the way they’ve blended in with the returnees.
“I’m extremely proud of the freshmen, and all the newcomers on the team,” Martin said. “They’re coming in knowing their role, and they’re trying to do the best they can and playing hard for me, trying to be good teammates. That’s all you can do.”