Gryphons fall short of third-round upset

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In every playoffs game this year, Rocky Mount High has found itself 
behind early.

The Gryphons were able to rally in the first two rounds but facing another favored opponent on the road Friday night, they ran out of comebacks in a 62-56 loss to Cameron Union Pines in the third round of the NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs.

“Unfortunately, it happened (Friday),” Rocky Mount coach Pam Gainey said. “We got close, but close doesn’t count except for horseshoes, and that’s not what we’re playing. You have to start out like you’re finishing up.”

The No. 12 Gryphons (18-10) were down by 11 points at halftime.

They pulled within four but after a lackluster first half, Rocky Mount ran out of upsets.

Gainey said the team’s defensive pressure didn’t create enough offensive opportunities, but the Gryphons’ young team, which has six freshmen or sophomores playing extensive minutes, impressed Gainey during the year.

“It has just been an outstanding group of young ladies,” Gainey said. “They came in open mind and were willing to do what was asked of them. ... They were able to achieve some things that maybe they didn’t even think they were capable of this season.”