Mary Persons head coach Kurt Greene said guard KeKe Calloway played her most complete game of the season Friday in the GHSA Region 2-AAAA semifinals.
Apparently, 24 hours werent enough for Calloway to cool down.
The junior made five 3-pointers on her way to scoring 17 in the first quarter alone and finished with 27 points as Mary Persons beat Rutland 61-53 on Saturday night in the region championship. It was the third straight region title for the Bulldogs.
This tournament is real special to me, said Calloway, who had her coming out party as a freshman in the region tournament in 2012. This is my favorite time of the year.
Naisha Smith and Maya Stewart each added 10 for the Bulldogs.
Rutland had four players score in double figures, led by Eboni Watts 16 points. TyAsia Grayer added 12, while Jabree Jones and Mikia Brown each scored 10.
The Bulldogs (23-3) had a dream start, sprinting to a double-digit lead in the first four minutes. Calloway couldnt miss from the 3-point line, even draining a buzzer-beating 3-pointer while floating to her right at the end of the quarter.
She made tough shots, and we had some blown assignments, Rutland head coach Johnny Dixon said. When shes on, shes on I guess.
Calloway continued on her roll with a 3-pointer a few steps across the timeline early in the second quarter.
I just try to get into a rhythm, and the crowd helps, Calloway said.
Rutland had a dreadful opening quarter offensively, but the Hurricanes steadied themselves in the second.
After falling behind by 17, Rutland (21-4) started rolling following a 3-pointer by Jones. The shot started a 14-3 run that closed the gap to six with a minute to play in the first half.
The Bulldogs regained the momentum in the third quarter and early in the fourth, with 3-pointers by Asiana Almon, Smith and Tyeshia Davis helping to push the lead back out to 14 points.
Rutland had a late run in it, using 3-pointers by Grayer, Watts and Jones to pull within six with about three minutes to play.
Calloway was assertive on two late possessions after Rutland closed to within six. She pulled down a pair of rebounds and went coast-to-coast for a layup on one possession and drew a foul on the other.
Both teams will host first-round Class AAAA playoff games Friday, with Mary Persons facing the No. 4 seed from Region 4-AAAA and Rutland getting the third-seeded team. Both coaches will have a chance to scout those teams because the Region 4-AAAA tournament wont finish until this week due to the ice storm that affected most metro Atlanta counties.