Rebels rumble with the Royals

Another night at Hopkins as top ranked Champlin Park comes calling against the 6th ranked Royals.  Billy Crystal and Lou Brown (Manager in Major League) part of the 3 man officiating crew.  Good hot dog but the bun while wheat and good for my health was a bit on the stale side.  I had to go that route because the usual walking taco wasn't on tonight's menu, the horror!  The 1st appearance of Barq's Root Beer on the beverage ticker this season.  Root beer really runs up the calorie count.  The Mr Basketball committee was on hand.  Good timeout music including this classic.

Song of the Day:  Tom Cochrane - Life is a Highway

Number of Teams I've Seen: 123 (41 courts + 2 online).  14 out of state, 9 girls

Beverage Ticker: 747.6 ounces (8165 Calories)
66 days, 87 games, 2 scrimmages added on
  • Pepsi: 252.9 ounces (3160 calories)
  • Coke: 144 ounces (1720 calories)
  • Dr. Pepper: 24 ounces (300 calories)
  • Sprite: 52 ounces (620 calories)
  • A&W Root Beer : 28.9 ounces (410 calories)
  • Mug Root Beer: 20 ounces (260 calories) 
  • Barq's Root Beer 20 ounces (270 calories)
  • Red Gatorade/Powerade: 201.8 ounces (1425 calories)
Hot Dog Ticker: 12
Pizza Ticker: 8
Walking Taco Ticker: 6

Game Time:
Early on McKinley Wright dishing to anybody he can find.  That includes DJ Hunter on the break for a layup and for a 3.  4 quick assists and he buries a 3 for a 16-5 Rebels lead at 13:30.  Hopkins makes a comeback via Simon Wright with 2 hoops and a triple.  That 11-3 run cuts the Rebels lead to 21-20 at the 9:42 mark.  Champlin Park opens the lead with a 22-6 run out of that timeout.  Marcus Hill starts it with a hoop and a putback after a huge Theo John blocked shot.  McKinley Wright back in the game with 2 fouls to add 2 free throws and a transition 3.  Brian Smith 2 hoops and Josiah Strong finishes the run with a 3 on a great skip pass from Wright.  43-26 Rebels at 3:35.  But McKinley Wright picks up a cheap 3rd foul and sits the last 2:36.  Interesting decision to leave him in there after the lead expanded but it didn't backfire.  Hopkins scores the last 6 of the half to pull within 43-32 at the half.

Champlin Park scores the 1st 6 of the 2nd half to push the lead back to 17.  Frosh Blaise Beauchamp carrying the Hopkins offense with their 1st 8 points of the half.  Ish El-Amin with a pair of hoops as Hopkins cuts the lead to 56-44.  Then 2 quick fouls on center Joe Hedstrom and he's gone with 11:42 left.  Hill adds 6 in a row and Strong buries a 3 for a 9-0 run to push the lead to 65-44 with 9:55 left.  Beauchamp and Darryl Mayfield make back to back 3s to cut the margin to 13 with 3 minutes left.  But McKinley Wright closes the door for good with a hoop, 2 free throws and an exclamation point dunk.  The dunk gets him a technical too but the game is out of reach.  Champlin Park wins 99-79.

Post Game
Freshman Blaise Beauchamp leads Hopkins with 21 of his 23 in the 2nd half.  That included 5 triples.  Simon Wright with 20, Ish El-Amin with 19.  Zeke Nnaji was back in the lineup but sat the last 10 minutes as he still isn't 100%.  That meant Hopkins had to play small with Simon Wright in the middle for that stretch.  Hopkins again struggling with defending really good guard play.  Hopkins falls to 12-5 overall and they are 1-2 in the Lake Conference.  They travel to Minnetonka next Tuesday.

McKinley Wright approached or reached a triple double depending on your count.  He finished with 27 points and very close to the 10 rebound and 10 assists mark.  This was the most I've ever seen him look to distribute the ball and it was fun to watch.  Plus he made sure nothing crazy was going to happen at the end.  All 5 starters and their 1st reserve reach double figures.  Brian Smith, DJ Hunter and Josiah Strong combine for 42 points and 8 3s.  Marcus Hill and Theo John combine for 28 points on the front line.   Champlin Park has the luxury of using Marcus Hill and DJ Hunter to defend other teams top scorers and they had the assignments tonight vs Wright and El-Amin.  That gives McKinley Wright and Theo John extra freedom and rest on the defensive end.  No doubt that Champlin Park is the top team in AAAA right now.  Trips to Maple Grove and Totino-Grace along with home tilts versus De La Salle and Armstrong are on the horizon.  Champlin Park is now 14-0, 8-0 in the NW Suburban North.  They are at Coon Rapids tomorrow before hosting Anoka and Andover next week.

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