To Hopkins to see the #6AAAA Royals host #5AAAA Wayzata. The 1st meeting between these teams was a 81-55 Wayzata blowout win just over a month ago. But Hopkins just avenged an earlier loss to Edina so would that script hold here? Our 3 man crew was a concern before the tip and both coaches were very unhappy at various points. Fun crowd on hand with the Hopkins band. When the Dominos delivery car pulls up and its not for the concession stand, its a let down. But the hot dog is solid and Coke to take care of it.
Jacob Beeninga and Ryan Lindberg with early 3s for Wayzata. Center Joe Hedstrom with 2 chances at 3 point plays for Hopkins. He converts the 1st and misses the 2nd to end a 7-0 Hopkins run. 15-10 Royals 6 minutes in. Wayzata keeps bombing away. Lindberg again off a BLOB and Drew Galinson in transition. After a Hopkins hoop, its Gavin Baumgartner with 8 straight Trojans points in a span of 35 seconds. That included a triple, a coast to coast venture and then converting a turnover into another triple. The 14-4 run puts Wayzata up by 5. Lindberg with another bomb off an offensive board with a minute left in the half. 37-30 Wayzata at the break. The Trojans make 9 3s in the half. They outscore Hopkins 19-7 over the last 6+ minutes of the half.
Galinson 2 more triples. Ish El-Amin counters with 7 points in a 10-0 Hopkins run. Beeninga fouled on a 3 and makes all 3 before yet another Galinson 3. 53-46 Wayzata with 8:56 left. Hopkins coach Ken Novak almost gets a T at the timeout. El-Amin 2 free throws and then a vicious swat of a Trojans lob into the 8th row. Frosh Blaise Beauchamp with a floater and a 3. Then back to back turnovers for Hopkins layups. 11-0 Hopkins run to take a 57-53 lead with under 6 minutes to play.
Wayzata would rally behind a Beeninga triple and pair of free throws to take a 60-59 lead with 3:46 left. A jump ball goes to Hopkins with 3:11 left. They run offense for a minute before Hedstrom is fouled and makes both ends of the bonus. Then a turnover for an El-Amin layup. Another turnover for the Trojans and Anthony Davis converts that vs a 1-3-1 trap.. The rest is free throws and some Brian Schnettler displeasure with no whistle for over and back. Hopkins wins 70-62.
Ryan Lindberg leads the way for Wayzata with 18 poitns and 4 triples. Drew Galinson 5 threes and 15 points. Gavin Baumgartner 12 points but 8 of them in that 35 second run in the 1st half. Jacob Beeninga also in double figures with 11. I liked that Wayzata pulled out some looks very much like what Edina does on offense to space the floor and penetrate. Once Hopkins clamped down on the 3 point line, offense was tough. Wayzata only shoots 5 free throws (Beeninga goes 5-5).
Ish El-Amin and Blaise Beauchamp each score 16 points to lead Hopkins. 24 of those 32 points coming in the 2nd half. El-Amin turned his game up another notch in the 2nd half. Simon Wright very active rebounding to go along with his 14 points. Joe Hedstrom chips in with 11. Zeke Nnaji left the game early in the 2nd half with a cut and didn't return. But when Nnaji and Hedstrom were in the game together, Hopkins went to something that wasn't quite high low or lane-lane mover blocker, but it had the posts working together top and bottom with the guards filling the wings. Good stuff. With a couple exceptions, the 2nd half defense of the 3 point line was much much better than the 1st.
So the teams are now tied on top of the Lake Conference standings at 4-2. Hopkins is 17-5 overall while Wayzata is 19-3 overall. If its coaches seed then its very interesting for Hopkins to be the top seed. Wayzata is currently a landslide winner for the top spot if its QRF but I have it much closer than that in the CzarPI. The win is also big as Armstrong lost to Maple Grove tonight and still has to go to Champlin Park. That definitely helps the Royals case for the 2nd seed.