Less than a week after recording six tackles in Prince Avenue Christian’s football state title victory, Phillip Kelley helped lead his team again.
This time, the Wolverines boys basketball team lost by 3 points, but Kelley put up 20 points, six rebounds, had a block and one steal in his first basketball game in four months.
Kelley said he hasn’t played basketball since the summer, when he would play pick-up games in between football workouts. He had three team practices before the game with Habersham Central High School, but despite his rust, Kelley knew he had to take control as the only senior who played this past Saturday.
“I feel like I have direct chemistry, if that makes sense,” Kelley said. “Because right there, that last shot, they're kind of looking to me to take it.”
The other two Wolverine seniors are dealing with injuries. Logan Johnson sprained his ankle in the state championship game and will return soon but Dallas Pettus requires further evaluation on his knee before his status is clear. He could just need rest but might need surgery.
Pettus dressed up in uniform but sat the entire game with a large brace around his knee. Johnson dressed in a suit and tie and was involved in the team huddles during timeouts. After the game, Johnson called Kelley “a very solid player.”
The two leading scorers behind Kelley were both sophomores. Josh Britt had 9 points and Robert Skaggs had 11 points. Skaggs only played for the junior varsity team as a freshman.
“A lot of the younger guys only played JV last year and they had to step up and play starting positions this year,” Kelley said. “They got a heck of a lot better. I have a lot of confidence in us. I know we're a young team, about three seniors, but we’ve got some good players and I think we make it happen.”