It was just the kind of end Musketeers 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,” he said. “We needed to show what we can do when we play with some consistency on offense and defense.”
Grovetown (5-15, 0-4) lost its fourth in a row and remained winless Region 3-AAA play.
The Warriors kept it close, down by only five points at halftime.
Guard Jonathan Bradley nearly broke the game loose early for Richmond Academy (8-7, 3-1). 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 fast-break layup off a steal, to put the Musketeers ahead 19-16 at the end of the quarter.
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 quarter with another steal he turned into basket. It soon was followed with a layup he drove in through traffic to close the gap to just a point.
After the second layup, Grovetown coach Bill Madigan sat Cooper to give him a rest. During the breather, Richmond Academy extended its lead to nine.
With 1:32 left to play in the half, Cooper returned to the court and immediately turned a steal into two points. He followed 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.
Cooper finished with 21 points for the Warriors. Walden ended with 19 points. Bradley led the Muskeeters with 20.
That aggressive defense generated numerous steals and rebounds that the Musketeers turned into 23 points, including two dunks, in the final period.