Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 2, 2014

Graham’s Hill shoots to top weekly basketball honor

By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Defense is going to win you championships. Offense sells tickets. If you don’t play defense you are not going to win games.”

Those are the words of Graham High School junior Colby Hill. Hill scored 53 points in a pair of games last week and is the G-Men’s leader in steals, second in rebounds and tops in blocked shots.

His performances last week in the First Virginia Bank Tournament in Fort Chiswell against Carroll County and host Fort Chiswell earned him Pocahontas Coal Association/Bluefield Daily Telegraph Player of the Week honors.

“Colby really played big in the tournament at Fort Chiswell,” said GHS head coach Glynn Carlock Jr. “He stepped his game up and did things that we’ve been looking for him to do. It took a little while for him to get into his routine and rhythm here at the beginning of the year.”

Hill scored 23 points in a loss to Carroll County. He rebounded the next night to score 30, including a three point bucket at the buzzer that propelled the G-Men past Fort Chiswell.

“I like playing in the Fort Chiswell gym, I feel like it’s a fun place to play,” Hill said. “I seem to shoot better when I play there. I don’t know why. It seems like me and the whole team were clicking on all cylinders.”

For the 4-3 G-Men things are beginning to click. Hill, a quarterback on the football team, talked about the progress the squad is making.

“I think the team is doing great right now,” Hill said. “We’re hitting shots, we’re making runs, we’re playing defense and hopefully this will pinwheel us into the new year and the post-season.”

While Hill has been lighting up the scoreboard, the part of his game that doesn’t show on the gymnasium wall is his defense. He leads the team with 19 steals and is averaging five rebounds a game. He has eight blocked shots and is dishing out three assists per game.

Though only a junior, he is a three-year starter for Graham.

“We are young but we’re old at the same time on the court,” Hill pointed out. We love playing with each other. It’s fun. We have a great time out there when we’re playing.”

The son of former basketball coaches Russ and Susan Hill, his coach said Colby is a leader on the court.

“We feel like he is an extension of the coaching staff on the floor. He has a high basketball IQ,” Carlock said. “He does a tremendous job for us making steals in the passing lane and we relay on him a lot. If it comes down to the end of the game we’re going to look for him because he has hit some game-winning shots for us.”

Even though he has another year left at GHS, Hill is looking to the future and beyond.

“Hopefully we can go deeper in the post-season (this year),” Hill said. “Next year we only lose one of our starters and we should have a great team again next year.

“Basketball is not going to last forever and you try to make the most out of it every time you’re on the court because you never know when it’s going to come to an end. I’d like to play college ball after I finish here, try to play somewhere.”

Hill and the G-Men host Galax tonight.