LEXINGTON, Ky. – Two players who will continue their careers at Kentucky colleges picked up the state’s top high school basketball honors Tuesday night.
Paul Dunbar High School’s Taveion Hollingsworth and Bullitt East’s Lindsey Duvall were named Kentucky’s Mr. and Miss Basketball winners during a ceremony at the Lexington Center’s Bluegrass Ballroom.
Hollingsworth, a 6-foot-2 guard who has signed with Western Kentucky University, had been considered the Mr. Basketball favorite since leading Paul Dunbar to the state title last year and earning Sweet 16 MVP honors.
Duvall, a 5-10 guard who has signed with the University of Louisville, was considered by many as a co-favorite for Miss Basketball honors with Butler’s Jaelynn Penn, who led the Bearettes to the state title as a junior and took Sweet 16 MVP honors along the way. Penn has signed with Indiana University.
Hollingsworth and Duvall will wear the No. 1 jerseys when the Kentucky’s All-Stars face Indiana in the states’ annual summer series. Games are scheduled June 10 in Indianapolis and June 11 at Central Hardin High School.
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Duvall averaged 23.6 points and 8.3 rebounds this season as Bullitt East finished 27-8, falling to Butler 50-42 in the Sixth Region final. Duvall shot 47.8 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from 3-point range and 85.5 percent from the free-throw line.
“Pure joy,” Duvall said of winning the award. “It’s a great feeling. I feel like the team and the community really all deserve it.”
Duvall missed all but seven games of her junior season after having a grape-sized tumor removed near her left knee in November of 2015. Two months ago doctors found they didn’t remove all of the tumor, and Duvall had another surgery last week.
“It wasn’t as big,” said Duvall, who was on crutches as she accepted her award Tuesday. “They said in four weeks I should be back running if all goes well. … They think they got it all.”
Duvall, who started playing for Bullitt East’s varsity team as a seventh-grader, finished her career with 2,957 points, tying with Leslie County’s Hillary Moore for 25th place in state history.
She is Bullitt East’s second Miss Basketball winner, joining Becky McKinley (1992), and the first Sixth Region player to win the award since Iroquois’ A’dia Mathies in 2009.
“We’re pretty close, and she spends a lot of time at our house, because she wants to,” Bullitt East coach Chris Stallings said of Duvall. “So I’m going to miss her. I’m going to miss her talent. I’m going to miss her personality. She’s a good teammate. … A lot of little girls in our community look up to her and strive to win this award.”
Hollingsworth averaged 28.3 points and 6.8 rebounds in leading the Bulldogs to a 21-9 record this season. They lost to Lexington Christian 68-64 in the semifinals of the 43rd District Tournament. Hollingsworth shot 55.1 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from 3-point range and 75.9 percent from the free-throw line.
“It’s a great honor,” said Hollingsworth, who became Lexington’s first Mr. Basketball winner since Henry Clay’s Steve Miller in 1984. “I didn’t really think about (Mr. Basketball) my first two years at Dunbar. I actually started to know about it when I was junior. … Coming into high school I wasn’t known at all until we made it to state and we went on a run.”
In a loss to West Jessamine on Feb. 14, Hollingsworth scored 42 points and passed Bryan Station’s Mike Allen (2,408 points) as the all-time leading scorer in Lexington high school history. Hollingsworth finished his career with 2,495 points.
Bulldogs coach Scott Chalk said he believes Hollingsworth will play professionally one day.
“Western is happy they got him, but wait and see,” Chalk said. “I just hope they don’t play Kentucky or somebody because watch what he’ll do. That’s when he’s at his best when he has a chip on his shoulder. Look out. … You need fuel, and he’ll use it for the positive. He’s going to have a great career (at WKU).”
Other award winners Tuesday night were Sacred Heart girls basketball coach/athletic director Donna Moir (Kentucky All-Star Hall of Fame and Founders Coaching Award), Kentucky High School Athletic Association commissioner Julian Tackett (Kentucky All-Star Hall of Fame); former Fairdale boys basketball coach Stan Hardin (Ralph Beard Lifetime Achievement Award); Harlan basketball player Jordan Brock (Donna Murphy Award); and Harlan’s Noah Busroe (Wah Jones Award).
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and email@example.com.