By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. —
The Graham G-Men and Narrows Green Wave played a nip-and-tuck game for three quarters before the G-Men pulled away in the fourth period and grabbed a 61-36 Mountain Empire District win in a contest Tuesday night at Graham Middle School.
Ahead by seven headed into the final eight minutes, the G-Men defense rose to the fore and held the Green Wave to one basket in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile the G-Men offense pumped 20 points through the nets in the final eight minutes to improve to 9-3 overall and 2-0 in district play.
“We’ve had some guys step up and I’m really proud of the way the guys played the second half,” said Graham head coach Glynn Carlock Jr. “The first half was sloppy, but you need to credit Narrows. They came out, they were patient, they ran their sets in the half court and I thought we were patient but they did a nice job defensively in the first half. We were able to get out and run in the second (half) and that enabled us to win it.”
After ties at three, five, seven and nine, Colby Hill’s three point play the old-fashioned way put Graham ahead 12-9 with under a minute to play in the first. Narrows answered however, on a three point play by Austin Lively knotted the contest at 12. Hill’s basket from the right wing just before the buzzer gave Graham a 14-12 advantage after the first period.
The G-Men went on an 11-2 run to open the second period of which Hill scored seven of the 11 points. Tony Hood’s trey with 1:25 to play before halftime gave Graham its largest lead of the game at 29-19.
Narrows responded, scoring the final five points of the half including a three at the buzzer by Chandler Burton that brought the Green Wave to within five at the break, 29-24.
The Green Wave continued its charge when the second half began, scoring the first four points to pull to within one at 29-28.
Graham then began to pull away and went on a 12-6 spurt the remainder of the third quarter and held a seven point lead, 41-34 headed to the fourth and final quarter.
The G-Men defense took over in the final quarter, rebounding missed Narrows shots and scoring in both the half court and transition. The Green Wave did not manage a score in the final quarter until the two minute mark when Lively scored Narrows’ only points of the fourth quarter. Graham scored 20 in the fourth and claimed the MED victory.
Hill topped the scoring column for Graham with 22 points. Hill made three from behind the arc.
“I felt good out there. My teammates, I credit them. They got me the ball when I was open, looking for me out there on the perimeter,” Hill said.
Asked what Carlock told the team between the third and fourth quarters, Hill said, “He just said we need to play our style of game, get up and down and run the court and it will be our night.”
“Colby Hill is going to be near the top of our scoring sheet every night,” Carlock said. “He hit his free throws, he shot the ball fairly well around the three point arc and Colby’s a good scorer. He can pull up, or he can take his man to the basket.”
Hood, battling a bug and playing limited minutes tallied 10 for the G-Men.
“I can’t say enough about the play of Sam Stowers and Spencer Sheets filling his (Hood’s) void tonight as far as defense goes,” Carlock said. “Both of those guys were asked to guard their point guard, (Rodney) Perdue. He (Perdue) does a nice job penetrating and we felt like we could kind of platoon people on him with Tony not being at his best and I think Sam and Spencer did a nice job with that as well as Roman Workman. They really shut them down in the second half.”
Burton was Narrows’ leading scorer with 10 points, including two threes.
Graham returns to action Friday night with a quad against Bland County at Bland High School. Narrows, 6-6 overall and 0-2 in the Mountain Empire, will play Friday at Ft. Chiswell.
At Graham Middle School
Gavin Givens 1 1-1 3, Brandon Craft 0 0-0 0, Rodney Perdue 3 0-0 6, Kelly Dent 0 0-0 0, Will Patteson 2 0-0 4, Chandler Burton 4 0-0 16, Danny Stevens 3 0-0 6, Jordan Bragg 0 0-0 0, Tyler Evans 0 0-0 0, Devon Turner 0 0-0 0, Austin Lively 3 1-3 7, Allen Oney 0 0-0 0, Totals 16 2-4 35.
Tony Hood 4 1-3 10, Spencer Sheets 4 0-0 9, Roman Workman 2 1-1 5, Sam Stowers 0 0-0 0, Marshall Hawley 1 0-0 2, Colby Hill 8 3-4 22, Zach Proffitt 3 0-1 6, Jacob Simpson 0 0-0 0, Tim Clarke 1 0-0 3, Jonathan Figueroa 1 0-0 2, Josh Altizer 0 0-0 2, Totals 25 5-9 61.
Narrows..............................12 12 10 2 — 36
Graham..............................14 15 12 20 — 61
3-point baskets: N-Burton. G-Hood, Sheets, Hill 3, Clark