Johnson leads Altavista past Radford 49-44

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Darius Johnson scored 14 points, and Altavista hit a key basket in the final seconds to beat Radford 49-44 in the Group 1A state championship Saturday.

Leading 46-44 with 16 seconds to go, Altavista prepared to inbound the ball following a timeout. Meche Maulbeck passed across the baseline to teammate Juan Thornhill. Thornhill then pitched it with one hand deep down court back to Maulbeck, who caught the pass and hit a layup.

The Colonels (22-3) hit one more free throw to lock up the win.

Nate Jones led Radford (26-3) with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Both teams were defending state champions. Before the Virginia High School League realignment, Radford won the Division 2 championship, and Altavista claimed the Division 1 title.

Altavista shot only 26 percent (6-of-23) in the first half. The Colonels turned it on in the second half, though, knocking down 67 percent (12-of-18).

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