This year’s St. Pius team has a veteran backcourt in senior point guard Brookes Kahlert and shooting guard Trey Acklin. Kahlert, who has signed with Rollins, is an exceptional passer – basketball guru Sandy Spiel ranked him as the best passer in 5A – and a good shooter. Acklin, one of the best defenders on the team, has worked hard to upgrade his offense.
Wing Callum Petersen is shooting 45 percent on 3-point tries and junior Eamon Kenah has emerged as one of the team’s leading scorers. Jack Verrill is a 6-foot-8 senior has gotten stronger and has shown improvent from last year, his first on the varsity.
The Golden Lions were 23-8 last year and lost to Cross Creek in the Class 4A Final Four. In getting elevated to Class 5A, St. Pius landed in a very tough basketball league. Region 5 includes DeKalb powers Southwest DeKalb and Lithonia, as well as King, Decatur and Chamblee. It’s a deeper, tougher conference.
“Going up to 5A is a more difficult challenge,” Parr said. “With those DeKalb teams, every night you’re going against great athletes and great coaches who have been around for a long time. It’s going to be a lot of fun to complete with those teams and I think we have a group that can compete.”
St. Pius will host Stone Mountain on Tuesday and has big weekend with home games against Southwest DeKalb on Friday and Lithonia on Saturday.