Holy Cross found itself trailing Scranton Prep by as many as 14 points in the first half and by eight points at halftime in the championship game of the 69th Lynett Memorial Boys Basketball Tournament. But behind the shooting of senior Caleb Callejas, the Crusaders rallied in the second half for a 55-54 victory.
Callejas hit his first six shots from the field and finished 7 for 9 (6 of 8 from 3-point range) for 23 points. He was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Here is more from Callejas’ Athlete of the Week interview:
Favorite teams: New York Knicks, New York Jets, New York Yankees
Athletes I admire: Kobe Bryant. He worked so hard and his mentality.
Favorite food: Cheeseburger
Three people I’d like to have dinner with: (Holy Cross assistant) coach Kyler (Kovaleski). My brother Cory. He’s always there for me, helping me shoot. And “Little Al” (Al Callejas Jr.)
You scored 11 of your points in the third quarter. Coming out of the half, coach called a play for me that first possession. I made the shot and got my confidence going. Then my teammates were setting good screens for me and getting me the ball on time.
Describe the 3-pointer you hit with 3:04 left in the fourth quarter to give the team a five-point lead: I think Pat Bennie passed it to me. He got the ball in the post, attracted the defense and kicked it out.
Is that gym (Lackawanna College Student Union, formerly the Scranton CYC) a tough place to shoot? It makes you think you have to get (your shot) up higher. If you hit the rim, there’s not a very good chance of it going in. You want to try to swish it because they have tough rims.
Two years ago, Holy Cross made a run to the Class 2A state semifinals. How often do you reflect on that? We definitely use that as experience to play in big games. The older guys on those teams showed us how to win. But we’re not satisfied with that. Our goal obviously is to win the state championship.
What is it like playing for your uncle (head coach Al Callejas)? It’s tough. He obviously is going to be tough on me. But I just have to realize he’s just doing it to make me better.
Post-graduation plans: I honestly don’t know yet. Obviously to go to college. I haven’t narrowed it down yet. It’s between like four schools. Will you play basketball in college? Maybe, depending on where I go. But I’m not planning on it right now. What do you intend to major? Biology. I want to be a dentist.
During more than 30 years at The Times-Tribune, Scott has covered everything from high schools to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His current beats include motor sports, local colleges, high school cross country and high school baseball. He also is a copy editor and page designer. His articles have won awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Eastern Motorsports Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Press. He also has been honored by the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League and the Minor League Football Alliance. In 2016, he was presented the Media Service Award by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. A Long Island, New York, native, Scott graduated from the University of Scranton in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He lives in Peckville with his wife, Andrea, and daughters, Bridget and Emily. Contact him at email@example.com; 570-348-9100, x5109; or @swalshTT on Twitter