GHSA Zoom In: Kell Longhorns
The high school season is finally here. Basketball has tipped in the Peach, and it looks like Kell is going to be one of the must-see teams in the state yet again.
A season ago, the Longhorns had the best run in the school’s history with a 28-2 record that saw them go a perfect 12-0 in region play. It all culminated in Macon when they locked up the program’s first state championship.
It was a dominant year for the Marietta powerhouse. Kell lost just one game against a Georgia opponent, and that came on the road against Grayson in overtime.
Seniors PJ Johnson and Aaron Smith have graduated and moved on while Peyton Marshall moved down the road to join Overtime Elite.
Nevertheless, Kell returned a significant amount of the production from last year’s squad, and they showed that they’re hungry to run it back after dispatching Greenforest 85-61 to start the season.
Brown is one of the best athletes in the state, and that’s even more solidified when narrowing the scope to the guard spot in particular. Brown opened his season with an 18-point game that saw him explode off the ground for dunks on more than one occasion. A USF commit, Brown will look to lead the Longhorns to Macon again before zooming off to Florida for college.
If Brown’s signature trait is his bounce, Colon’s is his shooting. Since the Scoot Henderson days, Colon has been on the floor because of his range. His game has rounded into form, and he’s more than just a shooter now, but when he gets going from deep, there are none better in Georgia. He is the most veteran member of the Kell program.
At the forward spot, Cannon Richards might be the best rebounder in Georgia. He’s a guy that a coach could pull film of and show as a teaching point for how to pull a board. His motor, his toughness, his athleticism, Richards handles a lot of the dirty work down low.
Connor Staphylaris: Staphylaris has been a varsity contributor since he was a freshman. He opened his season on a good note with 16 points on four 3-pointers. That’s what Staphylaris can help provide this team. His outside shooting will be a major weapon for the Longhorns.
Zach Graves: It was a good first impression from freshman guard Zach Graves on Saturday against Greenforest. The lefty guard showed off his jumper with a couple of threes, but it was his feel for the game that stood out the most. He keeps the ball moving and makes good reads as a passer.
Chris McLavish: Another guard that looks like he can help space the floor, McLavish got hot from the perimeter later against Greenforest to help pad the Kell lead. He looks like another player that can pack a punch off the bench.
Kell opens with a gauntlet that features games against some of the best programs in Georgia.
They crossed one off the list already, but McEachern, Grayson, Newton and Wheeler are all waiting for them over the next month.
While that’s a tough task, Kell’s a team that can handle it. It will test them ahead of region play.
Against region opponents, Kell should handle business again. An undefeated region run isn’t off the table. 28-2 might be lofty, but it’s also not inconceivable.
Regardless, Kell should be the heavy favorites to cut the nets in Macon and continue their reign as 5A champs.