January 26, 2017 in Sports
By Tim Ward
Some schools have rivals in football games only. Some schools have rivals based on their coaches. Callaway versus Murrah or Murrah versus Callaway is a historical rivalry. Beating each other can make or break a season mentally for the student athletes participating in these clashes.
Last Saturday, another chapter was written. The girls started the night off first. Murrah’s Lady Mustangs entered the game with a record of 15 & 4 and ranked number 4 in the state. Callaway’s Lady Chargers came to battle with a 7 & 9 record. On paper, a mismatch. Let’s add one more wrinkle into this equation.
Last season, Murrah defeated Callaway in 6a girls state championship game, giving coach Tangela Banks her third state title. One could factor revenge into this game also. Murrah came out relatively crisp to start the game. Defensively, they caused turnovers and rebounded the ball. At the end of the 1st quarter, Murrah was leading 11 to 3. A quickening pace is how the second quarter could be described. More points, more pressure, but similar results for the Lady Chargers. Halftime score was Murrah 25, Callaway 13. Feeling that the game was well in hand, the Murrah fans began anticipating the boys’ game. Not sure what coach Stacey Bailey told her girls in the lockerroom, but it worked!
Callaway came out in third quarter playing like the team Charger fans expected to see. Defensive intensity picked up. Perhaps the Murrah players relaxed. No matter to Callaway because now, they were the team in attack mode. Lead by junior guard Mary Boyd, and senior forward Delexius Knight, cut into the lead. By the end of the third quarter, the score was Murrah 35, Callaway 32. With momentum on their side, the Lady Chargers kept attacking.
The game became like a boxing slugfest, hypothetically speaking, of course, Callaway tied the game with 1:37 left the game. Chargers fans on their feet. After trading baskets, Callaway took the lead with 4.7 seconds remaining! Murrah took a timeout to design a play. After the timeout, Murrah gets the ball to one of their best shooters, Nya Irvin. Irvin’s shot from well behind the 3 point line, rims out. Callaway wins a good game 45 to 43. In the basketball world, it was an upset. In the rivalry, just another interesting chapter.
With enthusiasm in the building, the boys game tipped off with a buzz already lingering from the girls game. Murrah’s boys entered the game with a 13 & 4 record against Callaway’s 17 & 6 record. In typical fashion for a boys game, the pace was quicker and the trash talking was higher. The referees would get a little too involved in the game for my taste. Seven technical fouls were called in the game. Double technical for players jawing at each other, to a couple of “questionable” technical fouls. Emotions ran high and the refs wanted to control the game.
By the end of the third quarter, the game was tied at 49. The teams got hot in the 4th. Three pointers stated to rain down. Callaway’s Tanarrio Ransburgh and Devante Horton were taking turns knocking down 3s. Murrah’s 3 point assault was lead by Jonas James. Murrah collectively shot well from the 3 point line, but their athleticism is what propelled them. Constantly getting to the free throw, put Callaway back on their heels. Murrah took the lead with 6 seconds left on the clock. Callaway inbounded the ball to John Knight who raced up the floor towards the rim. He gets a shot up, misses, and Murrah comes down with the rebound. Charger fans want a foul, Mustang fans on their feet cheering. Murrah hits two free throws to seal the victory, 76 to 72.