Jamaal Calvin wasn't ready for the basketball season to come to an end just yet. McCallie's fourth-quarter rally was as simple as that.
The Blue Tornado senior guard scored nine of his team-high 16 points in the final period to help his team fight back for a 61-54 victory over visiting St. Benedict in a Division II regional Saturday night.
"I just kept thinking how I didn't want this to be my last game as we walked out for the start of the fourth quarter," Calvin said. "We had played too much one-on-one for most of the game, but we finally started playing more together as a team and finding the open shooters in the fourth.
"And I was able to knock down a few when I was open."
McCallie, winner of three straight games and four of its last five, will travel to top-ranked Ensworth next Saturday for a D-II sub-state game. Ensworth won by 12 at McCallie one month ago.
The Tornado trailed at the end of each of the first three quarters Saturday but began the fourth with a 3-pointer by Nick Jacobs to take the lead, and Calvin followed with seven of his team's next nine points. Those included a driving layup and a free throw for a three-point play that stretched the advantage to five with just under three minutes remaining.
The Blue Tornado made 9 of 12 free throws in the final two minutes.
"Jamaal took over in the fourth, no doubt," McCallie coach Dan Wadley said. "We had some decent stops defensively and played like a veteran team down the stretch. We've played one of the toughest schedules in the state, and having been in a lot of those close games and knowing how to stay poised late paid off tonight."
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...