Graham jumps on Bulldogs from start
Graham (62) Vs. Tazewell (37)
Feb 03, 2016
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. — Tazewell is probably going to be the third-best boys basketball team in Tazewell County for a while yet. But the Bulldogs are continuing to learn what it’s going to take to improve their place in the pecking order.
The entire rosters of both teams saw playing minutes and the G-Men rolled to a 62-37 win over Tazewell in Wednesday night’s game at Graham Middle School.
The G-Men (13-2) opened the week Tuesday with a win against a Fort Chiswell team that had been on a nine-game winning streak. The Bulldogs (1-16) were on a nine-game skid headed into Wednesday’s game.
Be that as it may, Graham had no intention of playing as sluggishly in the first quarter as it had on Tuesday night. No sooner had the Bulldogs won the opening tip-off than Thomas Clarke collected the G-Men’s first steal of the game, which was shortly converted into a free throw by Chandler Cooper.
A quick transition bucket and subsequent artful slash from Roman Workman primed the pump. Graham got a couple more transition buckets from Cooper.
One was off a sweet bounce-pass assist from Clarke, who missed his next shot and experienced some momentary and uneventful friction with Tazewell’s Hunter Mullins before draining a 3-pointer for the 12-2 lead with 1:30 showing. He sat down to take a breather at 1:26.
“He’s definitely a hustle stat guy. When you look at the hustle stats ... steals and deflections ... he’s the guy. Most of the time we let him guard their best player,” said Graham head coach Glynn Carlock, Jr. “He’s gotten better defensively as the year went on. He’d gained a little bit of weight and it hurt him initially, but he’s gotten caught back up with footwork and it helps him now.”
Workman and Nick Morgan led the G-Men with 10 points apiece, the only two who scored in double figures. Carlock rotated a lot of players into the game, in a strategy part to conserve legs for the two more games on their plate this week. But also: Graham’s bench runs deep on any night, a fact not lost on Tazewell head coach Tom Rife.
“Let’s give Graham some credit. They came out tonight and played hard. They made the shots they needed to make and played as a unit,” said Rife, who took over the sagging Tazewell program this season.
“I think he ran five in and five out a few times and there wasn’t much difference in the starters and the guys he was bringing in. It’s hard enough to get five guys to play together. To get 10 guys to play together is a compliment to Graham,” Rife said.
Dakota Griffith led the Bulldogs with 10 points.
“This is a work in progress. We’re not only working to win a game, we’re working to change a culture. I really appreciate my team. They’ve bought in and they’re working very hard to change that culture,” Rife said. “We’re circling the airport now, but eventually we want to land it.”
Clarke had five assists and four steals for Graham. Morgan had five rebounds and an assist and Cameron Allen had four boards and two assists. Tanner Miller had four rebounds.
Tazewell returns home to face Richlands on Friday and Bland County on Saturday. Graham is back in the gym on Friday to face Grayson County in the “Mr. & Miss GHS” Winter Homecoming quad and return Saturday to face Virginia High in an afternoon quad.

At Graham Middle School
Dakota Griffith 4 2-5 10, Hunter Mullins 0 1-2 1, Josh Murray 0 0-0 0, Pierce Vanhoozer 1 0-2 2, T.J. Kitts 2 0-0 4, Alex Vanhoozer 1 0-0 2, Dakota Crouse 4 0-0 8, Ben Samaniego 3 2-2 8, Jason Watson 0 2-2 2. Totals 15 7-13 37.
GRAHAM (13-2)
Chandler Cooper 3 1-4 8, Nick Morgan 4 1-1 10, Roman Workman 5 0-0 10, Chris Jones 1 0-0 3, Thomas Clarke 2 0-0 5, Emil Curto 1 1-2 4, Cameron Allen 2 1-2 6, Adam Cole 0 0-0 0, Darrin Martin 0 0-0 0, Nick Shoemaker 0 0-0 0, Nathan Figueroa 1 1-1 3, Tanner Miller 2 1-2 5, Garrett Dalton 3 1-2 7. Totals 24 7-14 62.
Tazewell......................4 13 11 9 — 37
Graham.....................14 16 14 18 — 62
3-point goals: Tazewell (none), Graham 6 (Cooper, Morgan, Jones, Clarke, Curto, Allen).
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Graham 14 16 14 18 0 62
Tazewell 4 13 11 9 0 37
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