Kalmes has since switched to the hardwood, where his experience, versatility, and scoring talents have helped the Firebirds to a 16-6 record and the Bicentennial Athletic League playoff semifinals.
Playing both guard positions, the 6-foot-3, 165-pound senior netted 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Holy Ghost raced past visiting Christopher Dock, 53-34, Tuesday night in a quarterfinal.
A third-year varsity member and cocaptain, Kalmes added four assists, two steals, and two blocks in 26 minutes. He committed three turnovers.
"He was pretty much just a scorer two years ago," longtime Firebirds coach Tony Chapman said. "To his credit, he's developed his game. He's gotten a lot better at driving to the basket."
Against the Pioneers, Kalmes, often assuming the role of floor leader, scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half. Overall, he shot 6 for 10 from the field (1 for 2 from beyond the arc) and 5 for 7 from the line.
"I don't mind handling the ball," he said. "But if I had the choice, I would rather play the wing and fly off screens for jump shots."
Kalmes is the only player for Holy Ghost who saw significant playing time last season, when the Firebirds went 29-2, claimed the PIAA District 1 Class AAA title, and advanced to the state quarterfinals before losing to eventual champ Neumann-Goretti.
Also in the mix this season are 6-3 junior swingman Matt England, 6-2 senior forward Greg Wozniak, senior swingman Trey Grupp, and junior guard Bennett Zaba, an up-and-coming midfielder in lacrosse.
England posted 15 points, seven rebounds, and three assists against Dock; Wozniak scored eight of his 10 points in the first eight minutes; and Grupp collected five boards (three on offense) and two assists.
"We really have to win with defense," Chapman said. "I think the kids know that. If we give up 40 or more points, our chance at winning is 50-50. We have to knuckle down and play good defense."
In baseball, Kalmes, of Yardley, is a shortstop and righthanded pitcher. He missed the latter part of the 2012 campaign because of torn meniscus, suffered while he played AAU basketball.
For college, the 17-year-old is also thinking of studying finance at South Carolina.
"I think I might want to branch out and go far away to school, even though I'm sure that's not something my parents would want to hear," he said.
Next for Kalmes and the Firebirds, who are seeded No. 1 in the District 1 Class AAA tourney, is a BAL semifinal playoff, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at Delco Christian.
The final, likely pitting Holy Ghost against Church Farm, is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Holy Family.
Tap-ins. Ben Holl, a senior guard for Friends Select, is averaging 22.6 points and drilled 95 three-pointers in 22 games. The 6-foot-1, 160-pounder is considering Arcadia, Gwynedd-Mercy, Moravian, Penn State-Abington, and The College of New Jersey. . . . Upper Merion's David Stecz hit 45 three-pointers in 22 appearances. . . . John Kanas is averaging 16.1 points for Souderton, which is seeded No. 11 in the District 1 Class AAAA playoffs and will host No. 22 Pennsbury on Friday night. Teammate Austin Murphy has nailed 26 threes. . . . Council Rock North's Chris Rowland (56), Rip Engel (36), and Brandon Knotts (31) have combined for 123 treys. . . . Matt Alden and Horace Spencer averaged 16.2 and 13.3 points, respectively, for William Tennent.
Contact Rick O'Brien at email@example.com, or @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone