Girls Basketball: Hilliard Bradley’s Callahan sisters making most of final season together
Things are about to change for Hilliard Bradley’s Callahan twins, and they’re OK with it.
Starters for four seasons on the girls basketball team, the senior guards will go their separate ways to play for Division II programs in college. Carly will be at Hillsdale in southern Michigan, and Chloe will be about 115 miles away from her sister at Findlay in northwest Ohio.
Always inseparable, both agree the change will be welcome.
“I think it will be an adjustment,” said Carly, who at 6 feet tall is an inch taller than her sister. “In Hilliard, we’re known as the Callahan twins who play basketball, and we have the same friends. I think in the long run it will work out.”
“We’re known as the Callahan twins, like we are a set,” Chloe said. “Now we want to create our own identities.”
The twins have taken control for Bradley this season. Through 12 games, Chloe was averaging a team-high 14.5 points and had made 21 of 56 3-point attempts (37.5 percent) and 35 of 43 free throws (81.4 percent). Carly averaged 9.6 points and led in rebounds (7.2), assists (2.7) and steals (2.2).
“Their work ethic sets them apart,” said coach Steve De Dent, whose team was 8-5 overall and 4-2 in the OCC-Central Division before facing Davidson on Jan. 29. “They are here on days that we don’t have to be. On days that we practice, they stay extra. They wanted to be as good as they possibly could and that shows in their work ethic.”
The twins are virtually identical except for the cumbersome black brace running from near the ankle to the mid-thigh of Carly’s right leg. She was averaging 11.4 points last season before suffering a season-ending right knee injury in the fourth game. She also missed most of her sophomore season after tearing the ACL in her left knee.
“Sitting on the sidelines a lot, you can see the game from a different perspective,” Carly said. “One of the things I have grown in this year is my court vision. Sometimes I can get a ball off a rebound and I can see a guard coming in the lane or hit somebody on a fast break.
“One of the things I need to work on is getting my confidence back. I feel like since I have been out for pretty much the last two seasons, I feel I need to get in the swing of things knowing that scoring is not the only way to help the team.”
Chloe was third-team all-district and the OCC-Cardinal Player of the Year last season after averaging 14.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists. After her sister was hurt, she made the necessary adjustments.
“With Carly being gone last year, it changed things and I needed to be a role model for my teammates,” Chloe said. “It wasn’t like there was a lot of pressure, but it was something that I had to adapt to or change.”
Despite the twins being similar players, they do have some differences. Many of those come from Carly’s multiple injuries.
“They are similar players with Carly maybe liking the 3 more and Chloe liking to go to the bucket more,” De Dent said. “They both handle the ball in similar ways. Defensively, Carly’s probably a little behind but that’s because of the ACL tears. It’s a little harder when you have two knee operations.
“One of the things I have talked about to Carly is letting the game come to her. When you lose two years, you’re trying to get all those things back that you lost in one year. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get that time back.”
During Carly’s injuries, Chloe adapted to the point-guard position.
“She handles the ball more now, and I’m more of a shooting guard. When she goes out, I move over to the point,” Carly said. “She’s also quicker than me, so she guards the top guard on the other team. I’m typically guarding their ‘big’ down in the post since I’m our tallest player.”
The Jaguars play OCC-Central road games against Olentangy Liberty on Feb. 5 and Dublin Coffman on Feb. 9. They also play at Pickerington Central on Feb. 6.
The Division I district tournament is scheduled to begin Feb. 16.
“It’s definitely a different dynamic this season, especially being our last year together,” Carly said. “We want to cherish our last games together.
“Even though we’re going to different schools, we’re still only an hour and a half away. That means we can probably see each other on weekends. Besides, we know we’ll still see each other twice a year on the court (with both teams playing in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference).”