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Talented Callaway pounds NEL

By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 27, 2001
JACKSON They are young, but extremely talented. They are the Jackson Callaway Chargers.
Top-ranked Jackson Murrah features an all-senior starting line-up. Jackson Lanier has the tradition of a handful of state titles. Callaway, though, is a team to be reckoned with.
The Chargers made the Northeast Lauderdale Trojans believers on Wednesday here at the Provine Gym in the opening round of the Jackson Public Schools/Pepsi Holiday Tournament.
Callaway roasted the Trojans 77-52 to march on to the second round where it will face Jim Hill today at 11:30 a.m. at Forest Hill. The Chargers are now 13-5 on the season.
Northeast, who falls to 11-3, will face McClain tonight at 7:30 at Jackson Wingfield.
Not only are they big, they are very good," said an impressed Northeast coach Lewis Lightsey afterwards.
Callaway's front line consists of 6-foot-8 wide-body Mekel Marshall, 6-foot-7 power forward Charles Thomas and 6-foot-4 small forward Robert Clark.
No. 15 (Clark) is their best player," Lightsey said. But here's the big rub Marshall, Thomas and Clark are just sophomores.
Northeast had only one lead, that coming at 3-2 when White hit a three-pointer. The Chargers then reeled off 15 straight points to go up 17-3. Not only did points come from Clark and Thomas, but also from the backcourt of juniors Kiki Christmas and Richard Griffin.
Clark would score nine of his 18 points in the opening quarter as Callaway took a 26-16 lead. Three more baskets by Christmas in the second quarter extended the margin to 41-21.
Northeast countered with its only real run, a six-point spurt to close out the half to make it 41-27.
Callaway renewed its surge scoring the first 15 points of the third quarter to blow out the game at 56-27. An alley-oop dunk by Thomas along with a three-pointer by Griffin were key plays in the flurry.
Northeast did not get a basket until the 2:59 mark when Greg Powell scored.
Stephen Dyess kept the Trojans battling in the fourth quarter scoring nine of his 11 points.
Keno Leflore led Northeast with 13 points. Marcus Betts had eight.
Callaway totaled 34 field goals to Northeast's 19. The Chargers placed four in double figures with Clark's 18 leading the way. Griffin tallied 16 followed by Thomas with 15 and Christmas had 12.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at