Callaway wins in OT against feisty Laurel

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Callaway escaped a potentially monumental upset Monday night, and will get a chance to defend its state championship.

Malik Newman scored 28 points, Cortez Mitchell added 21 and Mario Kegler had 19 as Callaway beat Laurel 79-75 in overtime to advance to its fifth state championship game in six seasons.

The Chargers (30-1), considered the state’s top team, will play Vicksburg Friday night at 8 in Jackson.

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletter

Receive daily headlines and obituaries

Callaway has won the last two Class 5A titles, along with gold balls in 2009 and 2010. Vicksburg is making its second championship game appearance in four seasons, and is seeking its first state title since 2003.

Laurel (20-13) led by six heading into the fourth quarter, then let it slip away and had to scramble back from a five-point deficit with a minute remaining to force overtime. Ricky Holden’s 3-pointer with 15 seconds left tied the game at 70.

After a few back-and-forth moments in overtime, Callaway finally gained the upper hand. Dontelius Ross converted a three-point play and made two free throws to give the Chargers the lead for good. Ross finished with 10 points.

In the girls Class 5A semifinals, Natchez beat Canton 64-60 in triple overtime, and South Jones beat New Hope 50-48. The girls title game is Friday at 6:30 p.m.