Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

January 11, 2014

G-Men start out hot, rout Bears

BLUEFIELD, Va. — It would be hard to get a better start than what Graham had on Friday night.

The G-Men came out on fire, creating 12 turnovers in the opening 6:52, leading to 28 straight points to start the game, while rolling to a 73-39 win over Bland County on Friday night at Graham Middle School.

Graham (7-3) dominated from the start, with Roman Workman starting the G-Men off strong with one of his three 3s to open the scoring. That was just the start of an amazing opening stanza in which the lead grew to 28-0 withg  1:47 on the clock.

Graham made 10 of 14 shots during that timeframe, including 15 points by Colby Hill, most of which came on layups from the fullcourt pressure that hampered the Bears hopes of even getting the ball across midcourt.

“I thought we played really well at the beginning of the game,” Graham head coach Glynn Carlock Jr. said. “The pressure bothered them and we were able to get out and shoot layups which is what we wanted to do.”

Hill finished with 20 points, including a dunk off a steal and pass by Tony Hood, but didn’t play in the second half after suffering an injury to his right foot, which was wrapped in ice after the game.

“It is pretty numb right now, he has ice on it, but he is able to walk on it,” Carlock said. “You just hope the x-rays turn out positive tomorrow and go from there.

“At that point you just hope for the best and hope that he is OK, you can’t lose him, you don’t want to lose a 20-point guy a night. Let’s just hope for the best and we will go from there.”

Tony Hood had most of his eight steals in that quarter, while also grabbing six rebounds and scoring 10 points in the game. Workman added 17 points and six boards, while Nick Morgan contributed eight points, six rebounds and two steals off the bench. Jacob Simpson also had eight boards.

“We started out well, a 30-point quarter and a 22-point quarter, I was really pleased with our defense in the first half,” said Carlock, whose G-Men finished with 18 steals as a team. “We kind of slacked off offensively in the second half, we didn’t get out and run very much, but that is to be expected.”

Bland County finally got on the board on a layup by Mason Williams with 1:08 on the clock. The Bears were outscored by just six points — 45-39 — from that point, but that 28-point deficit was far too much to overcome.

“They created so many easy scoring opportunities in the first half that my kids were kind of shell-shocked from the beginning,” Bland County head coach Rich Hankins said. “You have got to give Graham a whole lot of credit, everything they wanted to do in the first half they did with very little resistence from us.

“My team, we just haven’t learned how to fight yet. We are so out-manned on the interior that it really hurts us going against these other teams, but we have got to find a way.”

Williams led Bland County with 16 points. Kalub Lambert was the next highest scorer for the Bears with six.

“Mason played exceptionally well,” Hankins said. “He is getting better, he is really coming to the front and trying to step up and lead our basketball team, which is what we need.”

Bland County, which had four experienced seniors on its squad last season that won at Graham, fell behind 30-4 after the first half, and 52-16 at the break.

“The difference between the two teams is experience,” said Hankins, who lost three 1,000 point scorers to graduation after last season. “Graham has got four or five or six kids that are coming back and we have got two. They are a solid, solid basketball team and Coach Carlock has done a tremendous job with them.

“We have got a ways to go, we really do. Defensively there are times when we just don’t show up and offensively that can’t carry us. We still have a ways to go.”

Graham faces a tall task next week, with Fort Chiswell visiting on Tuesday, the G-Men’s final home game until Feb. 5. That will be followed by visits to Bluefield and Grayson County, which has benefited from the return to health of Mikey Rodgers.

“It is a big week, a tough week,” Carlock said. “Grayson County has the Rodgers kid back, they picked off a big win against Glenvar the other night, it was their first win. I think they are going to make a run now, they were really light without him, now he is going to make them a better team.

“Fort Chiswell, they play us tough every time it seems like and Bluefield, you obviously know what you are going to get from them. We will find out if we have made any progress at the midway point in the season here next week.”

Bland County will host Galax on Tuesday. The Maroon Tide won the Division 1 state titles in 2011-12, and are considered a threat to do the same this season.

“We have Galax on Tuesday,” Hankins said. “The road doesn’t get any easier.”

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