By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. —
The last time Graham and Fort Chiswell met on the basketball court, the G-Men beat the Pioneers in overtime in Fort Chiswell’s holiday tournament a few weeks ago. Tuesday night the two teams met at Graham Middle School and the G-Men fired away at the Pioneers’ zone defense and claimed a 64-45 win.
“We talked about that (the earlier game) before the game a little bit,” said Graham head coach Glynn Carlock. “I feel like we have matured as a basketball team. I don’t feel like we are the same team we were at that point of the season, that early. I feel like we’re much better, our guys are playing with confidence and doing what we’re asking them to do.”
After early ties at four and six, the G-Men began dialing up from long distance. Two three pointers by Roman Workman and one each by Nick Morgan and Colby Hill helped Graham to a 17-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Midway through the second Fort Chiswell drew even on a basket by Dylan Hale, knotting the score at 20. The G-Men utilized the long ball to again pull away. Workman, Hill and Thomas Clarke all connected from outside the arc and with .9 seconds remaining in the half Workman was fouled on his three attempt. He sank all three free throws and Graham took a 31-23 lead into the half.
Fort Chiswell in the third quarter came out getting the ball down low to Hale who scored from the field and free throw line, cutting Graham’s lead to seven, but Hill caught fire. The Graham junior hit two threes, three twos and two free throws in the quarter and Fort Chiswell never challenged the remainder of the game. Graham led 48-34 headed into the final eight minutes of play.
Morgan scored eight straight points for Graham to open the fourth quarter and the G-Men’s lead grew as high as 24 points before the final margin of victory was determined.
“They area know for their 2-3 zone pressure,” Carlock said. “We knew it coming in and we tried to work some things yesterday to try to free us up and it worked to a degree. Some of it was just hitting shots and you’ve got to b able to hit them when you face that packed 2-3 zone. They do a nice job with it, they force you to beat them that way and luckily tonight we hit a few.”
Hill led Graham and all scorers with 26 points including four three pointers. Workman added 14 with three treys and Morgan came off the bench to score 13 with one long ball. Tony Hood had five steals and three assists. Workman snagged six rebounds and Clarke cleared the glass four times.
Hale led Fort Chiswell with 15 points.
Pioneers’ head coach Barrett Jackson said, “They (Graham) shot the ball really well. They shot the ball really well the first time we played. We had it within seven in the third quarter. They’re a pretty good basketball team. We’ve just got to get better every game, that’s our goal.”
Fort Chiswell fell to 4-4 with the loss while Graham improved to 8-3 and takes on cross-town rival Bluefield, tonight at the Brushfork Armory.
“I know they (Bluefield) have had a couple of tough games back-to-back (Greenbrier East and Wyoming East), but for us it’s all about our mindset. It’s about waking up, going to school, focusing all day on the task at hand,” Carlock said. “We know what they are, but you know what? We’re going out there to try to knock them off. If we do things that we need to do, play smart and don’t turn the ball over and shoot the ball well, which is a key, we’ll see how it falls.”
Tip-off of the varsity game is set for 7:30.
Graham won the JV game against Fort Chiswell 33-30.
At Graham Middle School
Tony Hood 1 0-0 2, Nick Morgan 6 0-0 13, Roman Workman 3 5-7 14, Chris Jones 0 0-1 0, Thomas Clarke 3 0-2 7, Colby Hill 8 6-7 26, Jacob Simpson 0 0-0 0, Nick Shoemaker 1 0-0 2, Zach Proffitt 0 0-0 0, Tanner Miller 0 0-0 0, Totals 22 11-17 64.
FORT CHISWELL (4-4)
Gabe Shelton 3 0-0 8, Brett Mabry 1 0-0 2, Jared Hovencamp 0 0-0 0, Chase Rathbone 0 0-0 0, Travis Jakubiak 1 1-2 3, Justin Archer 1 0-2 2, Jordan Burkes 0 0-0 0, Dylan Hale 6 3-6 15, Garrison Byus 4 0-2 8, Austin Widelo 2 0-0 4, Colby Rider 1 1-2 3, Totals 19 5-14 45.
Fort Chiswell.................12 11 11 11 — 45
Graham..........................17 14 17 16 — 64
3-point goals: FC 2 (Shelton 2); G 9 (Morgan, Workman 3, Clarke, Hill 4) Fouled out: None. Technical Fouls: None.