Royals stay hot

Prologue
Off to Hopkins for a Lake Conference showdown between the #2 ranked Royals and #5 ranked Eden Prairie.  The pricey but quality walking taco on the menu as usual.  Add 20 oz of battery acid (Coke) to the beverage tally.  Solid Friday night crowd with the entire Hopkins travel program recognized before the game.  Coaches for Cancer night raises $537.  Always a quality use of the Czar's vast wealth.  One of the great moments in student section history from the EP students serenading Amir Coffey's free throws early in the 2nd half with today's modern tune.

Song of the Day
Timber - Pitbull featuring Ke$ha

Total Beverage Consumption Counter: 1128 ounces  (98 games, 79 days)

  • 12 oz 7 Up 
  • 20 oz Barq's Root Beer
  • 20 oz Mug Root Beer 
  • 68 oz Sprite 
  • 60 oz Dr Pepper
  • 140 oz Red Powerade
  • 160 oz Red Gatorade
  • 184 oz Coke 
  • 464 oz Pepsi
Game Time
Alex Ihrke with an early bomb for a 9-3 EP lead.  Hopkins right back with a 14-0 run thanks to 7 from Jake Wright.  Treyvon Edwards for 3, Kamali Chambers with both ends of the bonus and the run is 21-5.  24-14 Hopkins midway through the half.  Aaron Workin with a pair of inside hoops to keep Eden Prairie within stricking distance.  Stephon Sharp a steal for a dunk, John Warren cuts for a dunk and the lead is up to 15.  Wright with a pair of late 3s to expand the lead to 18.  48-34 Hopkins at the half as Mark Gasner beats the buzzer off a Hopkins turnover.

Grantham Gillard ice cold in the 1st half but buries a pair of early 3s and a Workin tip cuts the lead to 11 early in the half.  Wright a pair of layups and a Warren putbacks push the lead right back to 19.  The fastest trigger in the state racks up a couple of delay of game calls and its a technical on Hopkins with 11:53 left.  Gillard can't convert the free throws and its 63-48 Hopkins.  Warren buries a 3 and the lead is back to 18.  But here comes Eden Prairie.  Ihrke with a 3 point play, Andre Wallace a jumper and both ends of the bonus.  Blake Cashman adds a layup to cut the lead to 11 and Hopkins wants a timeout with 9:20 left.

Hopkins comes out of that timeout with the 2-3 zone that was effective in the 1st half (very Syracuse like with their length in the back and they trap short corner like Syracuse).  But Wallace gets in the middle of it and nails the pull up jumper and then a deep 3.  Gillard and Cashman add buckets and the Hopkins lead is down to 73-68 with 6:30 to play as another Hopkins timeout didn't help.  The run ends up at 13-3.  Chambers steps up with a drive for 2, both ends of the bonus and then drives for 2 more free throws as Hopkins stretches the lead back to double figures.  No more danger.  Hopkins wins 85-73.

Post Game
Andre Wallace leads Eden Prairie with 23 points and 8 rebounds on my sheet.  A solid but not spectacular outing.  Grantham Gillard with another game where I see a quiet 1st half and then a burst in the 2nd.  He finishes with 10 but was ice cold with his shooting.  Blake Cashman adds 10 off the bench.  The Eagles were aggressive early going at the rim but the Hopkins length swatted those attacks away for the most part.  Eden Prairie with 2 losses to Hopkins and a 1 point loss to Waconia for a 13-3 run since a 2-2 start.  Eden Prairie now 3-2 in the conference and 15-5 overall.  They are in a tight battle with Armstrong and Minnetonka for that 2nd seed in ultra tough section 6AAAA.  Armstrong's huge loss to Minnetonka could knock them to the 4 seed though.  Eden Prairie in a stretch where they'll play 6 of their last 7 on the road.  They are at Edina, Andover and Eagan next week.  Then a home makeup game with Anoka before finishing at Wayzata and Minnetonka.

Hopkins has now won 15 in a row to go to 20-1 overall.  They keep the outright lead in the Lake Conference at 5-0.  They have a trap game tomorrow night at Benilde-St. Margaret's before visiting Osseo in a huge game on Tuesday.  Great balance from the offense with 5 players in double figures.  Jake Wright 15 of his 19 in the 1st half with 3 triples.  Kamali Chambers 15, Stephon Sharp and Noble Fahnbulleh with 14 and John Warren adds 11.  Best offense I've seen this season from Hopkins.  They moved much better and got great looks with their cuts.  Amir Coffey may have been the only starter not in double figures (6 points), but his passing is a pleasure to watch.  Very interesting to see the 2-3 zone come out of the wood work.  Wasn't as effective in the 2nd half but worked out well in the 1st half.  Helps when Eden Prairie couldn't buy a shot.

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