Hopkins survives section opener

Its the most wonderful time of the year.  I begin my playoff schedule with the 6AAAA 3 vs 6 game.  Its Wayzata at Hopkins in their 3rd meeting of the season.  Wayzata played the Royals tough at home, would we see a repeat of that here.  A concessions boycott tonight after the bad Walking Taco from last Friday.  I didn't want to take another chance on Sun Chips. 

Game Time
Hopkins with 3 offensive rebound buckets to open up a 6-0 lead 2:15 into the game.  Wayzata counters with Sam Joiner for 2 and then a back screen and pop for 3.  Zach Robertson for 3 and Brad Carlson off the bounce to close a 14-3 run.  14-9 Wayzata at the 10:20 mark.  Jake Wright for 3 at the 2:50 mark to cut the Wayzata lead to 25-22.  Stephon Sharp with a 3 point play but Carlson to Joiner to beat the halftime buzzer with a 3.  32-25 Wayzata at the half.

Robertson with another 3 and the lead is 39-30.  Hopkins gets Jamal Davis with a 3 and a bucket in a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 2.  Jake Wright with a drive to cut the lead 43-42 with 10 to play.  Wayzata hangs onto the lead with a pair of Carlson free throws.  Then bonus free throws for Hopkins and a 3 point play from Kamali Chambers and Hopkins reclaims the lead 50-49 with 5:39 to play.  Chambers with another drive then Wright coast to coast and the lefty finish inside.  54-51 Hopkins with 4:06 left and Wayzata needs a timeout.  Hopkins makes a pair of bonus free throws.  Wayzata converts with Carlson making both ends of the bonus and Kyle Kalivoda on the left baseline for a 3 point play.  56 all with 2:22 left.  Hopkins misses a second open jumper on their possession.  Wayzata takes their final timeout with 1:27 left.  Their ball tied at 56.

Wayzata spreads the floor and after 40 seconds, the dribble is picked up.  Chambers pressures it and flops on a bump.  The official buys the flop and it will go back to Hopkins.  Wayzata coach Phil Ward not all pleased and he picks up a technical.  Hate to see that.  I didn't see the exchange and its a good official who isn't known for a quick trigger, but that's really tough.  Wright makes 1 of the 2 free throws for a 57-56 Hopkins lead with 44.6 left.  Jamal Davis fouled on the possession and makes both with 38.4 left.  Wayzata putback countered by 2 Amir Coffey free throws with 19.8 left.  Wayzata down 3 without a timeout.  Robertson forces a 3 and may have been hit but rare to get that call.  Coffey seals it with 2 more free throws.  Hopkins wins 63-58.

Post Game
Wayzata is led by Brad Carlson's 17 points.  He scored 13 of those in the 2nd half.  Zach Robertson 10 of his 15 in the 1st half with 3 3s.  Sam Joiner 12 of his 14 in the 1st half.  A very tough loss after leading by as many as 9 in the 2nd half.  Wayzata with a roller coaster season losing their 1st 4, winning 11 in a row and then ending by losing 10 of 11.  A 12-14 record disappointing for a team that went undefeated in non-conference last year and had most of the star pieces coming back.  3 important pieces, Zach Robertson, Brad Carlson and Drake Mjaanes all graduate.  That leaves holes up front to replace.  I did like their patience on offense as they often had the ball for 30-40 seconds. 

Hopkins improves to 21-6.  They advance to a 3rd meeting with Minnetonka on Friday night at Osseo.  Jake Wright 11 of his 19 in the 2nd half to lead all scorers.  Kamali Chambers clutch plays in the 2nd half.  He had 9 of his 11 points in the second half.  A good example in this game of Hopkins always having that run in them.  Jake Wright tough in transition and showing the ability to go off the bounce if you run at him.

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