Royals continue rivalry dominance

Prologue
Off to Hopkins for their Lake Conference showdown against rival Minnetonka.  Had the walking taco as always but the lettuce just didn't do it for me tonight.  Soph Luke Pettersen put on a shooting gallery for Minnetonka in the JV game as the Skippers stole one 72-71 (Royals fouled on a 3 at buzzer that was called on the ground for a 1 and 1 down 3).  Surprisingly small crowd but it did start to get more people in late.  Some current music for today's song of the day despite having the Hopkins band in attendance.

Song of the Day
Avicii - Levels

Game Time
4 quick turnovers for Minnetonka with Siyani Chambers converting those into a 3, another bucket and a long assist to Demetrius Martin for a layup.  16-2 Hopkins at the 14:05 mark.  Tommy McDermott in off the Skippers bench to stabalize the offense.  He nails a 3 and pulls up for 2 more.  Then his drive and kick to Andrew Grosz for 3 at the 7:40 cuts the Hopkins lead to 25-15.  Riley Dearring getting hot with a 3, a bucket and then on the post for 2 more as switching gets him matched up with Siyani Chambers.  Add in 2 free throws for Dearring for 6 in a row.  The lead is all the way down to 4.  35-31 Hopkins with 1:39 left in the half.  But the Royals respond as they always seem to.  They score the last 6 as Chambers runs out the clock and buries the fade away.  41-31 Royals at halftime.

Tonka hanging around in the second half.  Andrew Turnblad inside for 2 and then finds McDermott on the nice give and go with 13:40 left to cut the lead to 47-40.  Tonka gives it back with Zach Stahl putting back the 2nd of 2 missed FTs and Tonka turns it over for a Jamal Davis dunk to push the lead right back to double digits.The lead is 13 when Dearring steps back for 3.  Hopkins counters with Davis scoring after Chambers strips Latrell Love on the break.  Dearring again for 3, Love fouled for 2 free throws after a Royals turnover.   Then a big moment.  Tonka out on the break, Love to the basket and his shot is rejected and the backboard gets slapped.  Original ruling is a goaltend.  Coach Dasovich (who I've discussed this rule with a ton because as you know its a pet peeve of mind) correctly points out that slapping the backboard is NEVER EVER a goaltend (which is A: Stupid and B: 95% of high school refs call it incorrectly because its an inconsistent rule) .  Either play on if its a legit play or a technical if its deemed unsportsmanlike.  Refs almost send the ball to be inbounded but they huddle up and change the call to be a technical foul.  Very tough call there.  McDermott steps up and drains both technicals with 10:06 left.  57-52 Hopkins with the lead and Tonka will get the ball after the technical.  Possible makeup call on the inbounds as Latrell Love gets called for an illegal screen.  Chambers makes 2 free throws and a turnover becomes a Martin 3. Martin with a high floater at the 7:40 mark and the lead is 13.  Tonka doesn't threaten again.  Hopkins wins 94-76.

Post Game
For Minnetonka, Tommy McDermott comes off the bench and scores 22 points.  Riley Dearring with 3 3s and 20 points on 6-15 FGs.  I would have liked to see more of him used in the post.  Latrell Love a quiet night with 13 points and 9 rebounds.  Minnetonka falls to 14-5 and 1-2 in the Lake.  Its the 9th straight loss to Hopkins for the Skippers since the epic 74-71 OT win in the 2008 section final at Osseo.  They host Marcus Tyus and Anoka in non-conference play on Friday.  They finish the 1st round of Lake play at Wayzata next Tuesday.

For Hopkins, Siyani Chambers continues to play at a high level.  He finishes with 25 points.  Zach Stahl 20 points and 10 rebounds.  Demetrius Martin 15 and Nick Jorgenson 13.  The Royals used a tighter version of their box lob play that they ran last holiday season for Joe Coleman.  Fun to see that double loop again.  More than anybody I've seen all year, their cutting and extra pass after pass is so superior to everybody.  Really a pleasure to watch.  The Royals are now 18-1 and 3-0 in the Lake.  They are at Edina on Friday and then a quick turnaround at Cooper on Saturday afternoon which should draw a good crowd.

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