- Johnny Esfeller
IMG Academy Boys Basketball program racking up points
The IMG Academy Boys Basketball program teams have been putting up big numbers over the past week. The Post-graduate Blue team hit the road for the Brewster Invitational, Dec. 13-14. The Ascenders opened the event with a game against Notre Dame Prep, and dominated to the tune of 87-56. Leading the charge in the first game was Syracuse signee Chris McCullough, who lit up the board with 26 points. He was joined by Nevada signee Eric Cooper, who added another 13 points, and Marko Lepovic with 11 points. In the championship game against Brewster, the Ascenders once again put up big numbers, but fell short when Brewster rallied late to overtake IMG Academy in overtime, 86-95. In the championship game, McCullough picked up where he left off the night before with 28 points and eight rebounds. Other notable contributors were Eric Cooper with 17 points, Kerem Kanter with 14 points and 12 rebounds and Angel Rivera with 13 points and an impressive 10 assists. The team's record advanced to 7-2 on the season. The team has emerged as one of the top programs in the entire nation, and was recently recognized by Next Up Recruits as the No. 10 overall post-graduate team in the nation.
Meanwhile, the IMG Academy Varsity Blue squad put up impressive numbers of its own in a four game stretch. Playing its first home game of the season on campus against Faith Baptist, Dec. 12, the Ascenders went off in a dominating performance, winning convincingly, 70-46. Leading the way were Dwayne Bacon and Tysean Powell. Bacon put up 19 points and seven rebounds, while Powell added an impressive 24 points and seven rebounds. Austin Pauga also got in on the action with 10 points and four assists in the victory. The next day, the team returned to action, crushing Southern Basketball Academy (Australia) by a 72-22 margin. It was a total team victory, but Austin Pauga led scoring with 18 on the night, with Tysean Powell not far behind with 14. On Saturday, the team won its fourth in a row against Georgia's Kingdom Prep, 81-47. The team returned to action on Sunday against Score Academy, but fell short of making it five in a row. In the effort, Dwayne Bacon put up a season-high 42-points. The team's record advanced to 7-4 on the season, with one game remaining in the fall semester.
Photo by: IMG Academy