Down but not out
Graham (41) Vs. Dan River (64)
Feb 26, 2016
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
WISE, Va. — It’s a good thing that Graham’s boys basketball team gets a second chance in this year’s VHSL 2A West tournament. Because in Friday’s tournament semifinals in the Prior Center at Virginia-Wise, the G-Men gave Dan River too many second chances.
Rodney Womble, Jr. and Jacquon Durant scored 16 points apiece and the Wildcats collected a 64-41 victory to advance to Saturday’s championship game.
Graham (18-4) will face Gate City (20-4) in today’s 2 p.m. tournament consolation game, the winner of which will ostensibly obtain the less-egregious road trip when next week’s VHSL 2A Elite Eight gets under way.
“I think they had 17 offensive rebounds through the third quarter. We knew that we had to limit their offensive rebounding. They were shooting the ball, getting it back and putting it back in in the film that we saw on them,” said Graham head coach Glynn Carlock, Jr.
“I felt like we just didn’t do a very good job with that ... I felt like they did a lot of damage to us in the paint and with second-chance opportunities. I would love to know how many buckets they converted off those offensive rebounds. Because they did many times more than we did on our second-chance buckets,” Carlock said.
Dan River (20-3) didn’t cut quite as scary a figure on the floor as it might have during the days of the Edmunds brothers. But the Wildcats, who were last year’s 2A state runners up, were strong, athletic and scary enough.
Dan River held a 49-41 overall rebounding edge on the G-Men. Womble, who missed last year’s postseason due to injury, led Dan River with 15 boards, six on the offensive end.
Durant pulled down 10 boards (four offensive) and Zemar Anderson had eight (four offensive).
“Rodney’s one of those players that can dominate a game whenever he wants to. That’s why we like to keep him on the floor as much as we can and get the ball in his hands as much as we can,” said Dan River head coach Kenny Murphy.
“Durant is a slasher. I think that’s why a lot of teams run zone against us, because he’s not a 3-point shooter. His size doesn’t tell you how long he is and how high he can jump. He contributed a lot today,” Murphy said.
Darrin Martin was the only G-Men player to hit double figures, scoring 12 points, his dream-weaver through the paint tying the game at 14 with 4:14 to go in the second quarter.
His bucket was the first points scored in the second period, the opening minutes occupied by both teams struggling to get their shots to fall.
“Offensively we did a good job getting to the basket. We missed a lot of layups. Credit Dan River. It came out and was by far the most physical team tonight,” Carlock said.
Graham’s Thomas Clarke had shot 2-for-8 prior to cutting the Wildcats’ lead to 21-20 when he put the ball on the floor to create reverse layup for himself. With the G-Men trailing by only one at the half, it looked as if a third-quarter surge might be in the offing.
It was. Only not for Graham.
Workman, who led the G-Men on the boards with 15 rebounds, picked up his third foul on a charge call with six minutes remaining in the third. Graham trailed by four points when he sat down.
By the time Jaylan Fitzgerald sank both his free throws after getting fouled underneath by Garrett Dalton at 3:26, Dan River led by 14.
“It hurt us with (Workman) being in foul trouble. We do have confidence in our other guys to get the job done. But we were not a very strong and very tough team tonight,” said Carlock, who got three assists and three steals from Workman before he fouled out with Graham trailing 60-41 with 1:46 remaining in the game.
Jovian Reynolds scored 11 points for Dan River, handing out three assists and grabbing five rebounds.
Womble, for one, claimed Workman being in foul trouble didn’t affect his team’s intensity in the least. The ‘Cats were focused on doing what they were going to do irrespective of the personnel Graham had on the floor, he said.
“The biggest key to us extending our lead was defense ... not letting their boys attack the rim like they did in the first half,” said Womble, who had two assists and two blocked shots for the Wildcats.
While it isn’t that much of a consolation, Graham has a chance to redeem itself today against the Blue Devils, who lost a tooth-and-nail 65-64 battle with defending 2A state champion Martinsville in Friday’s second semifinal game.
The G-Men are still in the deep end of the pool. It’s time to start swimming.
“We knew coming in what to expect. It’s not like we didn’t know that. There were no secrets. I thought we had a good few days of practice. It didn’t pay off for us tonight,” Carlock said.
“The beauty of this is that we get another chance to play for a better seed tomorrow. And hopefully get these out of our system before tomorrow and next week comes.”

At the Prior Center
GRAHAM (18-4)
Roman Workman 3 0-0 7, Tanner Miller 0 0-1 0, Chandler Cooper 1 4-7 6, Nick Morgan 2 1-2 6, Thomas Clarke 2 0-0 4, Drew Baker 0 0-0 0, Chris Jones 0 0-0 0, Emil Curto 0 0-0 0, Cameron Allen 1 2-2 4, Adam Cole 0 0-0 0, Darrin Martin 5 2-2 12, Nick Shoemaker 0 0-0 0, Nathan Figueroa 0 0-0 0, Garrett Dalton 0 2-2 2. Totals 14 11-18 41.
DAN RIVER (20-3)
Rodney Womble, Jr. 7 1-4 16, Jovian Reynolds 3 4-7 11, Zemar Anderson 1 3-6 8, Devin Stone 2 4-6 8, Jaquon Durant 7 2-3 16, Reggie Venable 0 0-0 0, Tyree Barton 0 0-0 0, Shamar Parker 0 0-0 0, Bennett McCann 0 0-0 0, Daniel Dickerson 2 0-0 4, Jamari Whittle 0 0-0 0, Bryson McLaughlin 0 0-0 0, Jaylan Fitzgerald 1 2-2 4. Totals 23 16-28 64.
Graham..........11 9 13 8 - 41
Dan River.......13 8 24 19 - 64
3-point goals: Graham 2-18 (Workman 1-2, Cooper 0-1, Morgan 1-6, Clarke 0-2, Baker 0-1, Jones 0-1, Allen 0-2, Martin 0-1). Dan River 2-14 (Womble 1-3, Reynolds 1-6, Stone 0-3, Barton 0-1, McCann 0-1. Fouled out: Workman.
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Graham 11 9 13 8 0 41
Dan River 13 8 24 19 0 64
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