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Emmett Duvall a force on court for red-hot Vaqueros

Sophomore wing has Glendale college men's basketball team contending for division title thanks in part to savvy rebounding, scoring skills.

February 14, 2014|By Charles Richcharles.rich@latimes.com
  • Glendale Community College's Emmett Duvall, #35, dribbles the ball in the semifinal game of the Vaquero Classic vs. Cuyamaca College at GCC in Glendale on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.
Glendale Community College's Emmett Duvall, #35,… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

It didn’t take long for Emmett Duvall to draw attention. And it had nothing to do with him towering at 6 feet 6 inches, tied for second tallest player on the burgeoning Glendale Community College men’s basketball team.

Duvall brought his lunch-pail approach inside the Glendale college gymnasium during a recent two-hour practice session. He found himself near the basket in prime position to grab a few rebounds and offer encouragement to his teammates after running some plays.

“We mean business,” said Duvall, a sophomore wing. “We go out there and do whatever we can to help each other out, whether it’s during a game or in a practice.

“It’s about being composed and not letting the pressure get to you. We have a team that’s got plenty of skill and we know how to take in the moment.”

It would be difficult to argue that point since it’s been a fantastic season to date for Duvall and the Vaqueros. Glendale is 19-4, 7-2 in the Western State Conference South Division and ranked 13th in the state and seventh in Southern California by the California Community College Athletic Assn. The Vaqueros are in second place in the division, one game behind Antelope Valley entering Saturday’s division road contest against Bakersfield.

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With Duvall a force on both ends of the court, he’s provided the Vaqueros with some snarl to their game with his excellent rebounding and a nose for the net to provide some offensive pop. Backed by some clutch performances from Duvall, the Vaqueros have won four games in a row and are 14-2 in their last 16 games.

“It just comes down to putting in a quality effort each game and how much you really want to win,” said Duvall, who is averaging a team-best 15.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. “You have to be aggressive on both sides of the court and being ready to be in the moment in a close game.

“I try to be relaxed, even though it seems like the adrenaline is always flowing leading up to a game and then during the game. You have to have a lot of passion for the game and I do.”

Duvall, who is averaging a team-high 5.8 defensive rebounds and 4.5 offensive rebounds per contest, answered the bell for the Vaqueros in their last game Saturday against Santa Monica. He grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 20.3 seconds remaining in regulation to propel Glendale to a 73-71 division home victory. Duvall finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

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