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Hickory falls in 3A hoops title game, 78-64

March 11, 2012

O-N-E file photo

CHAPEL HILL — Dante Battle and Terrill Hilliard both had double-doubles as Rocky Mount beat Hickory 78-64 Saturday night for the Class 3-A North Carolina High School Athletic Association men's championship.

Battle, named the game's MVP, finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Hilliard added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Gryphons (27-3), who won their second 3-A title in the last three years and fifth overall.

Kenneth Peoples chipped in 12 points and Tabias Hilliard 10 for Rocky Mount, which shot 41.8 percent and outrebounded Hickory 51-38.

Darius Malbon had 17 points and Jalen Byrd 15 for the Red Tornadoes (28-4), who led 21-10 with 7:46 left in the second quarter. But the Gryphons cut Hickory's lead to 32-29 at halftime, then used a 22-13 run in the third quarter to pull ahead.

Rocky Mount opened the fourth with a 16-6 run to take its biggest lead, 67-51, with 3:05 remaining.

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