With a last-second dunk Tuesday, Richmond Academy’s DiQuan Washington punctuated a 68-46 blowout win over Grovetown High.
It was just the kind of end ARC head basketball coach Steve Nobles said his team needed.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Grovetown, they’re a young team, but we’ve been having trouble finishing games and we needed this kind of finish,” Nobles said. “We needed to show what we can do when we play with some consistency on offense and defense.”
For Grovetown (5-15, 0-4), the loss added to a four-game losing streak and winless Region 3-AAA schedule thus far.
The warriors initially managed to keep it close, down by just five points at halftime.
ARC (8-7, 3-1) guard Jonathan Bradley nearly broke the game loose early. In the first four minutes, he put up eight points, including a four-point play when he was fouled while sinking a 3-pointer.
Bradley added four more, including a fast-break layup off a steal, before the period ended with ARC ahead 19-16.
Grovetown’s C.J. Cooper helped keep the score close in the first with eight points, including a basket off a steal, with Khallid Wright adding seven more.
Cooper opened the second period with another steal he turned into basket. It soon was followed with a layup he drove in through traffic to close the scoring gap to just a point.
After the second layup, Grovetown coach Bill Madigan sat Cooper to give him a rest. During the breather, ARC extended its lead to nine points.
With 1:32 left to play in the half, Cooper returned to the court and immediately stole the ball and turned it into two. He followed that with a 3-pointer.
But Cooper’s return couldn’t halt the damage inflicted upon the Warriors by Marcus Walden. He hit two turn-around jumpers, two layups and added two points from the free-throw line.
Walden added six more in a low-scoring third period to extend Richmond Academy’s lead to 10.
Grovetown seemed to have no answer for Walden, as exampled when he drove in one of those third-period layups uncontested past three defenders.
Walden added five more points in the fourth for 21 points in all. He was followed by Brantley with 18 total points.
In the fourth, Grovetown seemingly resigned themselves to defeat, adding just 11 points as ARC harassed them in a man-to-man defense.
That aggressive defense generated numerous steals and rebounds that the Musketeers turned into 23 points, including two dunks, in the final period.