It wasn't quite a scare. In fact, while a nine-point first half deficit might be cause for alarm for many Minnesota high school basketball teams, it was just another chance to prove how good and how versatile the top-ranked Hopkins (Minnetonka)
boys basketball team is. The Royals were in an unfamiliar position Tuesday in the 6AAAA championship game, trailing Wayzata (Plymouth)
Despite a workmanlike effort from a scrappy Wayzata team, Hopkins got it together and ended up pulling away with an 85-65 win. How dominant were they after the slow start? The Royals outscored Wayzata 74-45 from that point on.
Northern Iowa recruit Marvin Singleton
, a muscular, physical player who is also extremely athletic for his size, led the way, as he has so many times this season, with 27 points. His running mate - and University of Minnesota recruit - Joe Coleman
, added 18 points including eight on dunks.
Wayzata received a valiant effort from senior guard Eric Robertson
. Robertson poured in 28 points, but when he picked up his third foul with nine minutes left in the first half, it spelled doom for the Trojans.
What it spelled out for coach Ken Novak's Hopkins squad is another trip to the state tournament, where the Royals are now seeking their third-straight state championship. Hopkins (27-1) is ranked No. 17 in the latest MaxPreps Xcellent 25 High School Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
.MaxPreps Minnesota boys basketball playoff bracketsDETROIT LAKES TOPS BEMIDJICarey Woods
scored a school-record 52 points in a game earlier this season for the Bemidji
Pioneers. On Saturday, his 23 points weren't enough as Detroit Lakes
downed the Lumberjacks 68-65 in an 8AAA section semifinal game. Bemidji, which was ranked in the top 10 in Class 3A this season, finished the season 21-6. As for Detroit Lakes (21-7), the win means a trip to the section finals, where it will face No. 5 Apollo (St. Cloud)
(24-4) for the Section final.
Woods sank two free throws to give Bemidji a 65-64 lead with 30 seconds left, but Detroit Lakes' Josh Stalberger
countered with a driving layup, scoring the winning basket with 10 seconds left. Woods then had the ball stripped from him in the final seconds on the final scoring attempt, forcing a turnover. Joe Mollberg
of Detroit Lakes sank two free throws for the final points to seal the win.
"Detroit Lakes shot the ball very well down the stretch," Bemidji coach Jeff Brown said in the Bemidji Pioneer. "Both teams played hard. The game went back and forth, exactly like we thought it would. The difference was that Detroit Lakes capitalized at the end."
Stallberger led Detroit Lakes with 17 points, while Mollberg added 15. Ryan Rude
added 18 for Bemidji.ISLANDERS VS. HYLANDERS SECTION FINAL SETDeLaSalle (Minneapolis)
, the No. 2-ranked team in the state in Class 3A, advanced to the Section 3 finals after a 70-52 win over St. Paul Central Tuesday. The Islanders, who have former Minnesota Gophers and NBA player Quincy Lewis on staff as an assistant coach, were led by the tandem of Jonah Travis
and Riley Dearring
. Travis led all scorers with 19 points and Dearring added 18 in the win. The Islanders led by 16 at halftime as they improved to 24-3 on the season.
Next up for DeLaSalle is Columbia Heights
, a 53-50 winner over Totino Grace Tuesday night. The Hylanders (20-6) are led by Zach Lofton
, the state's second-leading scorer at 30 points per game. Lofton was "held" to 21 points in the win over Totino Grace Tuesday, while Ben Glover
Friday's section championship game - at Blaine High School, should be a classic as the Islanders take on the Hylanders.JOHNSON ADVANCESJohnson (St. Paul)
, the defending Class 3A state champions, advanced to the section finals with a 74-54 win over Highland Park. The Governors, who have only one loss all season (24-1), were led by Marcus Marshall's
18 points, Roosevelt Scott's
17 and Estan Tyler
with 16 points.
Johnson will face Hill-Murray (Maplewood)
in the Section finals.