Hopkins at Columbia Heights thoughts

Prologue
I've got 1 hand in my pocket and other has fallen off due to frostbite.  Brutal walk up the hill to Columbia Heights as the #4AAA Hylanders host #1AAAA Hopkins.  Always like the pizza at Heights and on the way back to my seat, we get Rene Pulley sighting #1 of the season.  Zach Lofton in street clothes for this one but Heights does have Andrew Hanson.  And before I know it, I have a whole host of people join me behind the scorers table.  A shout out to Rogers shooting guard Trevor Morlock for putting up with The Czar for this one.

Game Time
Interesting look from Hopkins as they start small with Joe Coleman at the 4, Marvin Singleton at the 5 and the 5th starter is ... Jeremiah Tolbert.  I've been waiting for that forever.  Columbia Heights comes out zone and DJ Peterson goes over the top to Joe Coleman for an alley-oop dunk to get us started.  Peterson has the assignment guarding Jacob Thomas on the other end.  Thomas beats Coleman for a layup after beating him earlier for a step back jumper.  8 quick Thomas points.  12-11 Heights at the 12:45 mark.  Then it falls apart for Heights.  Marvin Singleton dunks, then Coleman dunks a pair of turnovers.  9-0 Hopkins run forces a Heights timeout.  20-12 Hopkins at the 10:51 mark.  Coleman with 10 quick ones on 3 dunks and 2 layups.  Highlight moment in the 1st half.  Peterson blocks Thomas who gets it back only to be blocked by Coleman.   Back the other way we go and Coleman goes up over the top to hammer home a miss.  27-17 Hopkins at the 6:45 mark but it feels like 25.  Singleton 2 FTs, Coleman lays in an inbound lob and dunks, Siyani Chambers for 3 to push the lead to 19 before an NBA bomb at the horn cuts the Hopkins lead to 46-30 at halftime.

The momentum carries to the 2nd half.  Harold Rainey is hot.  Coleman dunks again at 13:40 to keep the lead at 11. Thomas then with a great block for a Rainey layup, then Thomas with a putback for a 3 point play and a swooping layup and all of a sudden its 54-50 with 12:12 to go and Hopkins takes time.  23-8 run over 6 minutes for Heights with Thomas a major factor in it.  Heights goes to the bench and Hopkins gets a couple of strategic traps that ignite a 15-0 run over the next 3:12.  Heights needs a timeout as the lead is back to 19, 69-50.  Heights tries to make 1 more run as they cut the lead to 14, but with Chambers on the bench with 4 fouls, Heights leaves Cameron Selmer alone for an easy corner 3.  Until the clock dies at the 1:39 mark, this one is elementary.  Game is called as the clock is toast.  Hopkins wins 95-71 (I think, but the clock was dead)  (Czar's Note 12/10/09: Final Score was reported as 95-78, Jacob Thomas with 38 vs the 35 I had)

For Columbia Heights, Jacob Thomas finishes with 35 points on 13-29 shooting on my sheet to go with 7 rebounds.  Step backs, drives, pull from NBA range, heat checks.  A bit of everything.  He tried to carry the Hylanders but to no avail.  Turnovers really hurt Heights in this one but due credit should also go the Hopkins defense for their on-ball pressure.   For Heights, they've got a tough one with Staples-Motley on Saturday at Minnetonka.   Andrew Hanson was coming off an injury and started but he saw limited time in the 2nd half due to matchups.

For Hopkins, Joe Coleman leads the way with 29 points on 13-20 shooting (7 layups, 6 dunks).  Marvin Singleton 25 and 14 on 11-15 shooting.  He even got to show off some ball skills late.  Both guys were way too much inside as they dominated the paint.  Riley Dearring with 12 points on 3-9 shooting.  He took a couple of rushed shots but that will come with experience.  Despite late foul trouble, gotta like what Siyani Chambers did on the defensive end at the point of the defense.  Interesting that frosh Dearring and soph Zach Stahl were the only rotation guys off the bench in this one for the Royals.  Hopkins has a trap game with Maple Grove on Friday before taking on Tartan on Saturday at Minnetonka.

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