Breaking through
Bluefield (42) Vs. Graham (55)
Dec 11, 2015
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. — Leave the lights on, the party may still be going.
Graham, after years of frustration, broke the door down and beat the Beavers 55-42 Friday at Graham Middle School gym.
Behind a withering defense and an offense that kept taking advantage of opportunity, the G-Men (2-0) rallied behind the opening inspiration of Roman Workman, followed by Thomas Clarke’s steady play and kept Bluefield (1-1) off balance in front of an overflow crowd.
Workman, who was 7-of-11 at the line, popped in a game-high 19 points, and put Graham in front with an opening 3-point play. The two teams, like a pair of good boxers, studied each over the first few minutes. Mookie Collier’s bucket and free throw sent Bluefield in front 7-5 with 5:38 to go in the opening frame but that would prove to be the only Beavers’ lead of the night.
“Coach (Glynn) Carlock came up with a combination type defense that we worked on all week getting ready for this game tonight,” grinned Workman. “It is a mix of several things and we worked hard as a team to get it right. That paid off tonight against a very good team.”
Emil Curto’s layup and Workman’s corner trey pushed the streaking G-Men to a 10-point advantage, 18-8, with :10 left in the first quarter. Ryan Davis answered with a three-pointer for the Beavers. Workman and Collier continued to duel as neither team could get an effective inside game going in the first half, battling on even terms in the second quarter with Graham holding a 28-21 halftime lead.
Bluefield made a quick run after the break, rallying to within three points, 29-26, on a pair of lightning-strike buckets by Donte Hopkins. Graham, steady and patient, once again pulled away.
Chandler Cooper drained a trey, Clarke got an open layup and Workman’s two free throws helped Graham build an 11-point advantage at the 2:00 mark.
Jeremy Thompson hit a free throw and a bucket, cutting the margin to 37-30. Graham answered again, spreading the floor as Nick Morgan nailed a three-point shot moments later to increase the margin to 11 with 6 minutes left in the game.
The G-Men, working the passing game to perfection, refused to give Bluefield an opportunity to mount a major comeback in the closing minutes.
“We did not play as well as we needed to but we will work hard and keep trying to improve,” said Collier, who paced the Beavers with 18 points including an 8-10 effort at the line and was the only Bluefield player with double digits.
“After the first half, we came back out in the third and fourth quarters and tried to take advantage of what they (Bluefield) gave us,” said Clarke, who scored 14 for the G-Men. “Roman lit it up there in the first quarter, got us started and we kept the intensity tonight. Our fans really helped us. They were into it all game long.”
For Bluefield, working in front of a hungry team and a big crowd, the challenge was obvious.
“Give Graham credit – they played a great game,” said BHS coach Buster Large. “We have no excuses – they were well-prepared and their (Graham) intensity overmatched ours. You have to be ready every night and tonight the G-Men were definitely ready. By no means are we going to blame our youth or inexperience. This is a cross-town rivalry, a big game and we have to be ready to play in that type of atmosphere.”
The G-Men won their second game of the week and Carlock was pleased with the results.
“You could just tell before the game looking at our guys — they were really ‘up’ for this one,” he said. “We seemed to be dialed in early, looked calm and well prepared. I thought there was a two-minute stretch at the end of the first half where their (Bluefield’s) traps were giving us a lot of trouble but got in at halftime and put in a couple of sets to help with that.
“Roman had a big game, Thomas (Clarke) is a drive and a slasher and they really complemented each other tonight.
“As I said before, though, this is early in the season. Neither team is going to hang up any laurels the first week of the season. There is a long, long way to go. Both teams have a lot of potential and we will meet later in the year. But, it is a good game to get a ‘W’ and I am proud of the whole team,” he concluded.
Bluefield plays next at Princeton Tuesday with the 9th grade game beginning at 4:30, followed by the junior varsity at 5:45 and the varsity at 7:30. Graham will be off until the Virginia High Tournament on Dec. 17-19.
The G-Men won the junior varsity game 39-34.

At Graham Middle School
Donte Hopkins 3 1-2 7, Jaray Williams 0 2-4 2, Jeremy Thompson 2 3-6 7, Mookie Collier 5 8-10 18, Elijah Green 0 1-2 1, Ryan Davis 1 0-0 3, Malik Green 0 1-2 1. Totals 11 1 17-28 42.
GRAHAM (2-0)
Chandler Cooper 2 1-2 6, Nick Morgan 2 0-0 5, Thomas Clarke 7 0-1 14, Emi Curton 1 0-0 2, Cameron Allen 3 1-1 7 Tanner Miller 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 4 9-15 55
Bluefield................11 10 12 9 42
Graham.................18 10 13 14 55
Three-point goals – B, 1 (Ryan Davis). G, 4 (Roman Workman-2, Chandler Cooper -1, Nick Morgan -1). Fouled out--none.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Bluefield 11 10 12 9 0 42
Graham 18 10 13 14 0 55
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