DC Assault fulfills July quest with Fab 48 title

During the spring, the DC Assault 17U basketball team set a goal to go undefeated in July. The Washington, D.C.-based powerhouse completed its mission Sunday at Bishop Gorman High.

Romelo Trimble and Donte Grantham each scored 14 points, and DC Assault capped a 16-0 month by holding off Deron Williams Elite of Dallas 60-56 to win the invitational bracket championship at the Las Vegas Fab 48.

“This is our last tournament together and my last tournament before going off to college and stuff like that,” said Trimble, a 6-foot-3-inch combo guard who has orally committed to Maryland. “Last year we got upset here, so this here meant a lot.”

DC Assault, which went 8-0 in the Fab 48 and also in the Under Armour Summer Jam that ended July 21 in Mequon, Wis., took control early in the second half with a 10-2 run, but needed two free throws by point guard Byron Hawkins with seven seconds left to seal the victory.

Lightning-quick guard Erick Neal led a balanced offense for Deron Williams Elite with 11 points, including three free throws with nine seconds to play that cut DC Assault’s lead to 58-56. Reserve Takedrick Brown supplied eight points for Deron Williams Elite, which had only two field goals in the final 6:06 against DC Assault’s 2-3 zone.

“They’re a one-on-one team, so that (defense) hurt them,” Trimble said.

DC Assault led only 41-40 until Rashard Kelly, a 6-6 forward with offers from Boston College and several mid-majors, scored eight points during the key 10-2 run. Brown’s putback brought Deron Williams Elite to within 53-51, but 6-11 center Chinanu Onunaku slammed home a miss and Grantham got behind the defense for a big one-handed dunk that gave DC Assault a six-point lead with 2:45 left.

“I just filled the lane and nobody stepped up, so I just handled it,” said the 6-8 Grantham, who is ranked No. 73 by Rivals.com and is being recruited by the likes of Cincinnati, Clemson, Miami, Penn State and West Virginia.

The sweet-shooting Trimble starred during the first half, making three 3-pointers and scoring 11 points. His third 3 put DC Assault on top 19-14, although Deron Williams Elite responded with an 18-5 spurt in which four players hit 3s.

Brown’s 3 gave Deron Williams Elite a 32-24 lead with 6:05 left before Grantham scored seven points in a 13-2 run that gave DC Assault a 37-34 halftime lead.

Hawkins added nine points for DC Assault. Jeremy Combs, Tim Priller and Omar Sherman finished with seven points each for Deron Williams Elite.

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@review journal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.