Boys basketball continue winning streak

Max Weesner, Staff Reporter

In a matchup of the top-ranked team in the state, the Hopkins Royals, and the fourth-ranked Champlin Park Rebels, the Royals won by a 19-point margin.

After an even start to the game, Hopkins pulled away. The Rebels led 10-9 in the early stages of the game but trailed the rest of the way. The final score was 101-82.

The Rebels have two D1-caliber juniors in Theo John and Mckinley Wright. The Royals’ game plan was to stop the 6’9” John. Every time he caught the ball in the post, two defenders double-teamed him.

“The plan was to double [John] when he caught the ball,” Vinnie Shahid, senior, said. “I wouldn’t say it worked great, but he got into foul trouble so he couldn’t really get in his rhythm.”

John finished with six points, his lowest total of the season. Wright led the Rebels with a game-high 25 points.

The Royals had their second 100-point game of the season. Five players finished in double-digits.

Shahid and Xavier Johnson, senior, both finished with a team-high 21 points. Amir Coffey, senior, scored 17 points of his own.

Perhaps the highlight of the night was when Ishmael El-Amin, junior, threw down a one-handed transition dunk over the top of a Champlin Park defender, getting fouled in the process.

After their wins over Apple Valley and Wayzata last week, the Royals landed on the national radar. According to USA Today’s Computer Rankings, Hopkins is now the sixth-best team in the country and may move up even higher after beating Champlin Park.

“We know everyone is going to give us their best game,” Simon Wright, junior, said. “It also gives us motivation to keep that ranking. We know if we lose one game, we fall [in the rankings.]”

After getting the rest of Winter Break off, the Royals will host the Waconia Wildcats on Jan. 5 at 7 pm. The 3A Wildcats are 9-1 on the season.