Skippers get the rivalry win

Prologue
To Hopkins for one of the fiercest rivalries in the metro as the #4AAAA Royals host Lake Conference foe #10AAAA Minnetonka.  I'm becoming more disillusioned with the Walking Taco at Hopkins.  Sun Chips and special lettuce just aren't doing it for me.  Czar, have a Snickers, you're not yourself when you're hungry.  20 ounces of Sprite to enjoy while listening to The Lean Mean Performance Machine (AKA the Hopkins Pep Band).  Hopkins students go old school pulling out newspaper for the introductions to ignore Minnetonka.  Classic rivalry material.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 151 (62 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 1457.8 ounces (90 days, 125 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 684 ounces
  • Coke: 192 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 48 ounces
  • Sprite: 200 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 48 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 120 ounces
  • 0 Calorie Fruit Punch Powerade: 20 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 96.9 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 17

Song of the Day
Marvin Gaye - What's going on

Game Time:
Xavier Johnson hot early for Hopkins. 3 bombs in the first 6:30 for a 17-12 Hopkins lead.  Then a Minnetonka 10-0 run with Amar Miller going for 5 of those and finishing it with a 3 point play.  22-17 Hopkins midway thru the half.  Ishmael El-Amin off the Hopkins bench to pickup the offense.  He goes for 3, drives for 2, another bomb, 2 free throws and runs for another late bucket.  Justin Moes and Cedric Boone bury 3s to keep the Minnetonka offense going.  But plenty of bad 3s by both sides in the later part of the half.  36-33 Minnetonka at the half.

Its Seth Coatta and Moes starting the half with 3s and quickly the lead is 9.  Hopkins counters with an 8-0 run with a John Warren dunk and 2 Johnson hoops in that run.  Amar Miller with a jumper and Peter Weiss with a layup off a Royals turnover and the lead is back to 7.  Johnson with back to back bombs, Greg Warshaw with an offensive board for 2 free throws for the lead and Eric Davis crashes the glass for 2 more to end the 10-0 Hopkins run.  53-50 Hopkins with 9:30 left.  Minnetonka on the ropes but Boone responds with a 3 point play and coach Dasovich gets a timeout to relax his guys.  53 all.

Then its a dogfight.  Warren scores and Johnson with a wide open transition 3 for a 4 point lead.  Miller responds with a difficult 3 point play.  El-Amin with a floater and step back jumper.  Boone scores and then an elevator screen for a Coatta 3.  63 all with 5:10 left before Evan Altenburg fouls out.  Johnson backdoor and reverses it home but Miller counters with a spin for 2.    Shahid 2 free throws and Miller knocks down a jumper to keep the game tied at 67 inside of 4 to play.

Boone drives and scores and that's countered by a nice backcut and stop and pop by El-Amin.  Warren 2 free throws countered by another Miller jumper.  The teams trade misses and Warren runs for a layup.  Miller strong to the rack, gets bulldozed and still converts the 3 point play with 1:31 left.  74-73 Minnetonka leads.  Hopkins takes time and runs a backdoor set to post up Vinnie Shahid on Miller.  He may have gotten hit but no call.  Minnetonka will hold and take a pair of timeouts to save possession.  With 20 seconds left, they overthrow a pass for a turnover but Hopkins gives it right back.

Hopkins is forced to foul being down 1 and they get Miller.  He misses the front end and here we go.  Hopkins goes without a timeout.  Warren drives left baseline and finds Xavier Johnson for a right wing 3 with about 6 seconds left.  That's no good.  Minnetonka rebounds and Miller makes both ends of the bonus with 1.6 seconds left.  Hopkins takes time to setup 1 last chance.  Its a Valparaiso look with Warren getting the catch at the top of the key and finding a wide open Shahid on the left wing.  His shot is online but short at the buzzer.  Minnetonka wins 76-73.

Post Game
With Edina getting a win over Eden Prairie tonight, this was a huge win for Minnetonka in the conference and section races.  The Skippers now guaranteed to finish at least 1 game ahead of of Edina in the league standings.  I think this win gives them a firm grasp on the 3 seed in 6AAAA with Edina and Armstrong for 4 and 5 in a coin flip with Armstrong's loss to Maple Grove tonight.  Amar Miller comes up absolutely huge for the Skippers with 25 points.  He scored 11 of their last 13 points taking over in the last 4:15.  Seth Coatta with 3 triples and 15 points.  Cedric Boone adds 13 with a pair of 3s.  Justin Moes with a pair of 3s for 10.  Ryan Mattingly good minutes in relief of Altenburg.  Minnetonka finishes the regular season at home against Wayzata on Friday.

Xavier Johnson leads Hopkins with 6 3s and 26 points.  John Warren had 2 fouls in the 1st half but came on in the 2nd half to score 13 of his 16.  Ishmael El-Amin scored 18 off the bench.  The offense from Hopkins wasn't as crisp as we've seen in recent games.  With Eden Prairie's loss, Friday's game at EP is still for the outright title for Hopkins with Eden Prairie being able to steal a share.  With a win, maybe EP could sneak into the top seed in 6AAAA.  But remember, 3 of the 5 losses were right after Amir Coffey was injured and all against high level teams.  The loss snaps a 16 game winning streak for Hopkins.

Valpo all over again
Hopkins went Valpo at the end.  Shooters wide at half court, Eric Davis at the far foul line and John Warren under the rim.  Cross the shooters, Davis sprints to halfcourt, Warren sprints to the top of the key and can feed either way.  Simple but effective.

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