The Hickory High girls' basketball team won the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference title game Friday night by knocking off Freedom, the No.2 seed in the tournament field on its home floor, 66-41 Friday night in Morganton, N.C. The Red Tornadoes (24-0), ranked No.2 in the Class 3A state poll, also won its 17th consecutive

conference game.



It was also the third time the Red Tornadoes have beaten Freedom (18-8) this season, and Hickory has now won 11 conference tourney titles in head coach Barbara Helms’ 12 seasons.


Hickory’s Danasia Whitherspoon, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, led the way for Hickory with 25 points, including 16 in the first half. Brittany Dixon finished with 19 points; Sadasia Tipps had 11 points.


The Red Tornadoes led 30-19 at the half, and a 12-2 run to start the second half basically put the game out of reach.


Ariyana Williams, who was named to the all-tournament team, and sophomore post player Amy Rhoney led Freedom with ten points apiece; Williams also had six steals. Freshman guard Amaryah Corpening added nine points for Freedom.





The No.1 seed, the Freedom High boys' basketball team (25-1) completed the sweep by knocking off the No.3 seed, Fred T. Foard, 65-50, in the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference tournament championship game Friday night in Morganton, N.C.


The Tigers (16-10) had an early 9-4 lead midway through the first quarter (the run was ignited by Tyler Johnson, who scored nine consecutive points for the Tigers) hit a dry spell and went scoreless until the five-minute mark of the second quarter. In the meantime, the Patriots put together a 14-2 scoring run to take an 18-11 lead. The Tigers never recovered.


Freedom made 10 3-pointers as a team from six different players. The conference tournamenmt crown was Rogers’ fourth in eight seasons on the sideline at his alma mater, including every even-numbered year now since 2010.


Khris Gardin finished with 12 points in the win and was named MVP of the tournament. He was joined on the all-tournament squad by teammates Bridges (14.3 in three games) and Gabe Logan (13.0 in three games).