'Bigs' turn to shine
Graham (72) Vs. Richlands (62)
Jan 19, 2016
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. — Graham’s guards frequently take the lions’ share of the glory, and for good reason. Tuesday night against Richlands, the G-Men big men got an opportunity to show up big in front of their home crowd.
Posts Tanner Miller and Garrett Dalton combined for 18 points, helping Graham to absorb a 28-point night from Richlands’ versatile Luke Phillips. The G-Men held off the Blue Tornado 72-62.
Richlands (7-2), which had won seven straight since opening with a 66-61 road loss at Auburn, had hoped to keep the streak going against its Tazewell County rival.
Dalton finished with 12 points and four rebounds over the first three quarters. Miller showed up strong in the final stanza with two of his three total buckets on night coming when Graham really needed them.
“It worked out for us tonight. A big effort by our bigs tonight,” said G-Men head coach Glynn Carlock, Jr. “They’ve got a lot of heady players on that team. But I tell you what, I think our guys showed a little toughness and strength tonight. I was proud of our guys. We handled the ball pretty well and handled the press pretty well. I’ll take our effort tonight any day of the week.”
At the outset, it looked like Graham might run away with it
Richlands trailed 15-5 by a pair of Dalton free throws 3:30 remaining in the first quarter but got 3-pointers from Grant Herndon, Mackenzie Smith and Cody Fuller in the second period that helped cut it to 35-31 at the half.
The Blues got within a bucket on Landon Lowe’s trey with 3:45 remaining in the third period. In the fourth frame, Richlands locked it up at 55 and at 57 on free throws by Fuller and Phillips, respectively.
A couple of timely buckets from Miller bought the G-Men some much-needed breathing room. Graham shot 9-for-10 at the free throw line over the final 2:21 to keep the lead out of harm’s way.
“It’s a letdown. We really wanted to win. I thought our want-to was there. We just didn’t execute very well when we got it close. We didn’t get the key passes, the key rebounds, the key shots,” said Blues head coach Fred Phillips, who was surprised by Graham’s points in the post.
“We were really concentrating on Roman, trying to take him out of the game. And their two bigs made some buckets and some rebounds for them,” said Phillips, whose best big man, 6-foot-5 post Scottie Ball, is sitting out a four-game disciplinary suspension.
Workman was still a big factor for the G-Men (9-2), collecting a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, nabbing two steals and an assist. He cut his hand during the game, having to swap out jerseys (and jersey numbers) twice due to getting blood on the fabric.
Thomas Clarke led Graham with 15 points, sinking the G-Men’s last five free throws over the final minute. He had four assists and two steals. Chandler Cooper scored 11 points and handed out a couple of assists. Nick Morgan and Emil Curto also dished off a couple.
Phillips, who went 11-for-14 for Richlands at the free throw line, stayed on the floor for the duration despite picking up his fourth foul in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
“We were trying to get the ball taken toward him and he kind of did a good job working,” said Carlock. “It was our intent to get him out of the game but I guess they gave decent help to compensate for him and then they kept shuffling him to other men that maybe weren’t as big a threat to score.
“It was a chess game,” Carlock said. “ It wasn’t checkers. It was chess.”
Fuller and Taylor Horn scored nine apiece for the Blues.
Richlands faces Abingdon on Thursday and Lebanon on Friday, both on the road. Graham goes to Galax tonight.

At Graham Middle School
Luke Phillips 8 11-14 28, Grant Herndon 1 0-0 3, Will Moir 0 0-0 0, Cody Fuller 2 4-5 9, Ethan Ratliff 1 0-0 3, Bryce Farris 0 0-0 0, Mackenzie Smith 1 0-0 3, Ben Thomason 0 0-0 0, Taylor Horn 2 5-6 9, Landon Lowe 2 2-2 7. Totals 16 22-27 62.
GRAHAM (9-2)
Chandler Cooper 4 3-3 11, Nick Morgan 0 4-6 4, Roman Workman 2 8-10 12, Thomas Clarke 4 7-8 15, Emil Curto 2 0-2 4, Cameron Allen 2 0-0 6, Darrin Martin 1 0-0 2, Nick Shoemaker 0 0-0 0, Tanner Miller 3 0-0 6, Garrett Dalton 5 2-2 12. Totals 23 23-30 72.
Richland.....................13 18 20 12 — 62
Graham.......................21 14 15 19 — 72
3-point goals: Richlands 5 (Phillips, Herndon, Fuller, Smith, Lowe), Graham 3 (Cooper, Allen 2).
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Graham 21 17 15 19 0 72
Richlands 13 17 20 12 0 62
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