By Chris Thomas / Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
For three quarters, it looked like déjà vu.
Only this time, in Callaway's second matchup with Meridian this season, Malik Newman willed his team to victory
Newman scored 19 of his game-high 40 points in the fourth quarter, helping
top-ranked Callaway (22-1) erase a three-point third-quarter deficit and rally past No. 4 Meridian 70-63 Friday, avoiding a second loss the Wildcats
"We talked about the earlier loss a little bit," said Newman as he wiped a small amount of blood from his lip. "Very physical, very competitive."
It's the 13th straight win for Callaway, whose only loss this season came against Meridian on Dec. 17.
And for much of Friday's game, it looked like the Wildcats might beat the Chargers a second time.
Joel Baskins had 22 points to lead the Wildcats (20-6), hitting four of his
five 3-pointers in a first half, which was tied 32-32. Johntavius Thomas added 12 more for Meridian, including a thunderous dunk before fouling
through the fourth quarter.
"That was the difference in the ball game," Meridian coach Randy Bolden said. "(Johntavius) is our nucleus. He rebounds for us, he defends for us and scores for us. It helped Callaway take control."
With Thomas out, Callaway took over. Newman and the Chargers roll off a 12-4 run with Meridian's big man on the bench. It gave Callaway a 64-61 lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Dandy Dozen Mario Kegler finished with 10 points for Callaway. B.J. Miller added 11 for the Wildcats, whose eight-game win streak came to an end.
"I wanted to get it close down the stretch," Callaway coach David Sanders
said. "Malik's one of those kids, he's not going to let you lose."
Key player Malik Newman, Guard Junior star had 40 points, including 19 in the fourth quarter.
Number of consecutive victories for Callaway, ranked No. 1 in the Super 10.