SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Trevon Duval considers himself the No. 1 high school point guard in the country. Those who saw him help No. 6 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) defeat No. 16 Wasatch Academy (Mount Pleasant, Utah) 61-51 on Sunday would agree.
Duval had 12 points, six rebounds, four steals and 13 assists, many of them of the video-worthy category, at the Spalding Hoophall Classic. Three of his passes directly led to dunks by Emmitt Williams, who led the Ascenders (18-1) with 14 points.
“He’s the No. 1 point guard for a reason,” Williams said. “We didn’t do anything secret. It was just having fun. That’s one thing about this game. It’s about having fun, because it’s a team sport.”
“I’m always looking for Emmitt,” Duval said. “He’s always running, always looking for the ball and he plays hard and I know he’ll make himself available.”
After every highlight-reel pass or dunk, Duval didn’t crack a smile, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy how IMG stymied No. 16 Wasatch Academy (15-3).
“The third quarter was when things became really fun,” Duval said. “That’s when things started to open up.”
The key for the Ascenders was their interior defense, which held the Tigers to 38% shooting and forced 16 turnovers.
“I think our best defensive game was probably when our team played Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia), but this was also a very good defensive game,” guard DeAndre Osuigwe said. “Being a small guard, my role on the team is to play defense. When I get stops and the guards get stops on top, it creates for our bigs and creates fast break points, which helps a lot.”
Osuigwe said playing against Duval every day in practice has improved his own game.
“It’s fun playing with the No. 1 point guard in the country and it helps because you want to do the same things he does,” Osuigwe said. “His handle is tough and that’s what helps me in the games because I have to guard him in practice.”
IMG led 31-18 in the first half, much of that the result of the Ascenders’ tenacious interior defense, with Williams blocking three shots and Duval coming up with three steals. Duval was also active at the other end with six first-half points and five assists, including two that directly led to slams by Williams, the first on an alley-oop on an inbounds play and the other on a nice pass in traffic.
At one point, Emmanuel Akot hit a short jumper to cut IMG’s lead to 25-18, but Duval responded with a short jumper and a steal and a dunk to open it back up.
Akot led Wasatch with 19 points, including four three-pointers.