Photos courtesy of RHS Athletic Booster Club
The Radford Bobcats won back-to-back state 1A titles with Thursday afternoon’s win over George Wythe.

By Marty Gordon
NRVsports@ourvalley.org

Radford High School jumped out to 17-8 lead in Thursday’s 1A state championship and never looked back as they brought another trophy back to the New River Valley. Radford, who won last year’s title, held off a furious rally by George Wythe for a hard fought 61-60 win.


The defending champs were in control for most of the first half, and Sophomore Guard Quinton Morton-Robinson put a punctuation mark on it when he drained a three pointer at the buzzer to push the lead to 11 at the break.

Two weeks ago, the same two teams fought into overtime before Radford claimed the West region title. Both moved through the state playoffs to set up another matchup.

 

The Bobcats would work a steady offense to maintain a seven point lead after three quarters when Miles Jones hit a three pointer at the buzzer.

George Wythe would cut into the lead several times in the final quarter and a three pointer with 1:50 to go left Radford with a 52-51 lead. Things got a little more interesting when GW hit a three pointer with 29 seconds left, following by a five second violation by Radford, thus setting the stage for a great finish.

The Maroons couldn’t take advantage of the turnover, and Radford hit four free throws down the stretch. But it still wasn’t over.

George Wythe’s Malik Johnson was fouled on a three point attempt with 10 clicks left, and the crowd wondered if Radford’s Miles Jones had touched the ball while it was cylinder.

Referees disagreed and only gave Johnson three shots from the charity strip. He hit all three. D.J. Baylor then hit two free throws for Radford with nine seconds left to push the margin to four points.

Hundreds of students and fans packed Richmond’s Siegal’s Center to cheer on the Bobcats in the state championship game.

Johnson would hit a three pointer with one second left, but it wasn’t enough as Radford prevailed by one point.

Coincidently Radford Coach Rick Cormany is a native of Wytheville and played for current George Wythe Coach Pat Burns.

Radford finished 24-5 on the season, while George Wythe fell to 23-3. Last year, Radford downed Lancaster 54-44 in the state championship.

This one was Radford’s sixth boys’ basketball championship including four in the last seven years (2009, 2011 and 2013).

Cormany has won 16 of the last 17 regular season championships in the Three Rivers District at Radford High School. That also includes 13 of 14 tournaments titles, winning the last two Conference 45 championships, five regional titles, state runner up three times and has played in the state final four eight times. He has won over 200 games as a coach at Radford and Rocky Gap.

Two weeks ago, the same two teams fought into overtime before Radford claimed the West region title. Both moved through the state playoffs to set up another matchup.

This could be the last time the two schools face each other as Radford will jump to the 2A classification next year.

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