Hopkins wins war against Cooper
Good crowd in the house tonight as #4 Hopkins hosted #2 Cooper. We even had a 2nd half appearance from GopherHole.com's GopherLady. Those of you who are long time readers will know that I've linked many of her outstanding player interviews from here. Hard for me to link to a Gopher site since I despise the rodents in all their forms but I have to give credit where much credit is overdue. Nice to finally put a face to the name tonight. And where else can I find another native Wisconsinite? 2 words for the rest of the night, "The Works". (would you rather the lame cliche, so nice gotta have it twice?) We're having everything but the black olives on the Taco in a Bag (sour cream is good for maintaining the waistline) and the rare choice of Dr. Pepper tonight. Though seeing a Pepsi cabinet with almost all Coke products in it was amusing.
Joe Coleman leads Hopkins to a quick start. He has a putback, a steal for a dunk and catches a pass off a flex cut and goes to the reverse layup all in 1 motion. Timeout Cooper. Siyani Chambers to DJ Peterson for a layup and a drive for 2 of his own. Cooper needs another timeout at 10:16 down 19-7. Cooper can't buy a basket to this point despite trying to get Calvin Godfrey touches on the left box. Out of the timeout Darry Jones with a great backcut but botches the 2 handed dunk. No better sign of how Cooper's night has gone than that. Coleman converts a layup on the other end to push the lead to 14, yikes. But Cooper stays with Godfrey and makes a comeback. He finally converts from the post and then a picture perfect baseline dropstep from the left box for 2 more. Terry Glass with a jumper and a drive for 2 more. Terrence Averyheart for 3 and then 3 the hard way. And looky here, 23 all at the 5:50 mark after a 16-2 Cooper run over 3:35. Coleman walks and no call for a 3 point play countered by an Averyheart backcut for 2. Marvin Singleton taking advantage of his quickness vs Godfrey on the offensive end. He goes up and under Godfrey for a 3 point play and then another 3 point play after Godfrey gambled for a steal out high and didn't get it. 33-27 Hopkins at the 3:57 mark. Godfrey gets pulled and after going back in, he backs off of Singleton who drains a 3. Godfrey converts a dump down for 2 and then a late hoop to pull the Hawks within 41-38 at the half.
Coleman with 2 freebies, Singleton lets Godfrey fly by and lays it in. Chambers drives and goes to the reverse to push the lead to 9 with 16 minutes left. Timeout Cooper. Averyheart for 3, Godfrey with a big block for a Jones dunk. Hopkins then with a rash of turnovers including not converting a 4 on 1 break. Brandon Harrison on the post for 2 at 13:05 to cut the Hopkins lead to 47-45. 5 free throws push the lead back to 7 at the 10:22 and we have another timeout. Coleman with a 3 point play at 9:40 to push the lead to 11 and it looks like the Royals will pull away. Singleton scores against Godfrey in the post for Godfrey's 4th foul. That comes at 8:55. Coleman splits the D at 8:30 and Hopkins leads 60-48. Godfrey converts an offensive rebound with 6 minutes left, but the Hopkins lead is still 10.
Then this one gets a bit crazy. Godfrey with a block that turns into 2 and the foul. The foul is on Singleton, his fourth and then he gets a technical which is a personal. That's #5 and he's gone and there's still 4:53 left and the teams are yapping. Glass converts the technicals and then before the inbounds, away from the Cooper basket, Godfrey gets an elbow up on DJ Peterson's chin which no ref saw but the entire crowd did. Really chippy at this point. Elijah Swen nails a 3 on the possession and hold the phone, Hopkins only leads by 5, 68-63 with 4:42 left. Chambers with a pair of free throws at 4:34 and coach Johnson inexplicably takes Cooper's last timeout. Hopkins tries to put it away with Coleman inside and then a layup off an assist from Riley Dearring. 74-65 Royals with 3:15 left. Godfrey fouled in the act of shooting at 3:02 and we have another Hopkins technical. I think for slamming the ball. Godfrey makes 1, Averyheart converts the technicals but Godfrey misses a bunny on the possession. Jones misses another bunny for Cooper on the next possession. But after a Hopkins miss, Jones makes a great save on an errant pass and Glass scoops for the hoop at 1:50, 74-71 Hopkins. Chambers with 1 free throw countered by a Godfrey putback at 1:30, 75-73 Hopkins. Dearring with 2 clutch freebies at 1:12. Godfrey open inside but Averyheart won't throw it to him. No problem though as Averyheart drives and goes glass with 42 seconds left. 77-75 Hopkins leads. Godfrey fouls out at 27.5 bumping Chambers who calmly buries both free throws. Averyheart forces a stepback 3 that's no good. Swen nails a 3 at the buzzer that doesn't matter as Hopkins wins a real war 83-78.
For Cooper, they fall to 14-2 going into a big North Suburban showdown on Monday at Columbia Heights. Calvin Godfrey 20 points, 15 rebounds, and 6 blocks on my sheet. But only 2-10 from the charity stripe with 9-17 from the floor with 3 missed bunnies early. Terrence Averyheart leads the way with 25 points in a clutch performance. Darry Jones very quiet with only 8 points. Godfrey spent most of the night on the left box with Brandon Harrison playing the right box and moving up to the high post for some high/low action.
For Hopkins, they also are 14-2 and no rest for the weary with a trip to #2AAA Benilde-St. Margaret's tomorrow afternoon to play the rested Red Knights who haven't played since Tuesday. Very tough game. BSM on a 7 game winning streak since the league loss to Cooper to start the month. Joe Coleman leads the way with 19 of his 33 points in the 2nd half. Marvin Singleton had to face Godfrey most of the night but still finished with 21 points and 8 boards on my sheet. Siyani Chambers with 10 points and 5 of 6 free throws in the last 5 minutes to keep Hopkins ahead. Interesting trend for Hopkins as athletic guards tend to give them problems (North, Johnson and now Cooper). I think Hopkins gambles more out of their pressure man to man defense than I've seen in a long time and that surprises me consider how good they are traditionally on defense.
Joe Coleman photo courtesy of MNPhotoNet.net
Posted by Twin Cities Hoops Czar on 1/29/2010 10:46:00 PM