Groove fall to Sea Dawgs

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One of the top defensive teams in the Premier Basketball League clashed with one of the highest scoring teams on Sunday at Richmond Academy.

Defense prevailed in the Wilmington Sea Dawgs’ 100-91 victory over the Augusta Groove.

“When you play this team, they’re one of the best offensive teams in the league, so you’ve got to stay committed to defense,” Wilmington coach Dale Kuhl said. “We’re a very good defensive team, and we play physical and I’m just unbelievably happy to come out of here with a win.”

The Sea Dawgs, tied with the Manchester Millrats for the best defense in the league at 98.1 points allowed per game, handed the Groove their first home loss of the season. The Sea Dawgs held PBL leading scorer A.J. Groove to 22 points, 10 below his average for the season, and Augusta was held to season lows in points scored and shooting (41 percent).

“I don’t know how many turnovers we had, but that and the free throws killed us,” Groove coach Gary Perry said.

Augusta shot 61.8 percent (21-for-34) at the foul line but managed a 67-65 lead after forward Kedrick Johnson hit two free throw attempts to start the fourth quarter.

Wilmington’s Joseph King responded with the first of three 3-pointers in a span of less than three minutes that made the difference. King hit six 3-pointers in the game, tallying a team-best 20 points while four of his teammates also scor ed in double figures.

“What everybody doesn’t understand is that, yes, Joseph can shoot threes,” Kuhl said. “But he’s also our best on-the-ball defender we have. He did a great job.”

The loss dropped the Groove to 5-4 on the season and to third place in the four-team PBL Eastern Conference with one game remaining before the halfway mark of the regular season. Three of the Groove’s four losses this year have come against the Sea Dawgs.

Donielle Davis scored 20 points for the Groove. Center Calvin Rowland, who missed the past three games with a shoulder injury, came off the bench for one point and one rebound in 15 minutes played.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216

or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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