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Wonder-ful home opener for Strong Island

LongIsland.com

Sound Defeat Brooklyn, 113-111, To Even Record at 1-1 Selden, NY-In ABA action on Friday night, the Strong Island Sound gained their first victory of the 2006-07 season by defeating the expansion Brooklyn Wonders 113-111 ...

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Sound Defeat Brooklyn, 113-111, To Even Record at 1-1

Selden, NY-In ABA action on Friday night, the Strong Island Sound gained their first victory of the 2006-07 season by defeating the expansion Brooklyn Wonders 113-111 at Suffolk Community College. The Sound bounced back after a 117-115 loss on opening night against the Pearls in Baltimore.

Fueled by 31 points from guard Gregory Plummer, the Sound were able to hang on after the Wonders fought back from a double-digit deficit. Former Sound players Donald Harrison (8 points) and John Strickland (21 points) played well for the Brooklyn club, who showed that they will be a team to be reckoned with in the franchise's first game.

In the early going, the Sound trailed by nine points. But three turnovers by Brooklyn fueled the comeback, and a block by Plummer led to a slam by power forward Darren 'DP' Phillip (15 points), which cut the advantage to one. The first quarter ended with the Wonders hanging on to a 29-28 lead.

The Sound scored the first five points of the second quarter, and they were able to extend their lead when power forward Tommie 'Gunzz' Eddie (8 rebounds) made a steal and fed to guard Sean Dantzler. The 3-D Rule was in effect, and Dantzler was fouled in the act of shooting. He calmly sank all three free throws to make the score 42-35.

Guard Kenny Satterfield (27 points) led the Wonders on a nine point run by hitting three straight three-point field goals. The Sound were able to stem the tide and lead at halftime by a score of 63-53.

The Wonders chipped away at the Strong Island lead as the third quarter moved along, and the game was eventually tied at 86 after swingman Nick Boyd hit from downtown with one minute left. Following a miss by Sound forward Miguel 'Slim' Millien, guard Ryan Williams (10 points, 6 assists) converted to give Brooklyn a two-point advantage heading into the final stanza.

The Sound used the fast break to reclaim the lead and were up by five at the 8:50 mark of the fourth quarter. A 3-point play by Strickland cut the lead to 107-104 with three minutes left. Eddie showed nice touch from a big man by hitting a three-pointer from the top of the arc with 2:20 left, which caused Brooklyn head coach Ron Eford to call a time-out.

Following a Brooklyn miss, Plummer hit a three to make it a ten-point game. The Wonders would not go away as Satterfield hit a three-pointer with the 3-D Rule in effect, cutting the lead to six. Strickland then hit one from down low to shorten the deficit to three with 34 ticks left on the game clock.

The game was not decided until the final buzzer when Harrison was at the free throw line with 2.1 seconds left and the Wonders trailing by four points. He made the first and intentionally missed the second foul shot, which bounced away safely as the Sound claimed their first win of the year.

"We got that monkey off our back," said Sound head coach Dytanya Mixson in the locker room following the game, commenting on the teams and his (as a head coach) first wins. "It felt great to do it at home. We have a lot of young players and rookies. And it's great to coach them."

When asked about the next task at hand, facing the reigning ABA champion Rochester Razorsharks the following evening, Mixson stated, "It will be a measuring stick for us, even though it's early in the season."

The Sound helped themselves by shooting 81 percent from the free-throw line. Guard Michael Campbell returned for a second season on Long Island and scored 18 points. Forward Gary Williams, the other returnee from last season's Final Four squad, had 5 rebounds and went 1-3 from the field.