Boys basketball preview: facing the Eagles


Vinnie Shahid, junior, signaling for a teammate to set a pick during a game in the 2014-2015 season.

Max Weesner, Sports Blogger

With 2:40 left in last season’s section final, the Eden Prairie Eagles held a seven-point lead over the Royals. Three consecutive Eden Prairie turnovers and 10 combined points from Ishmael El-Amin, junior, and Vinnie Shahid, senior, later, Hopkins was headed to the Target Center while the Eagles were sent home in a disappointing end to a 22-4 regular season.

Tomorrow’s 7 pm matchup at Eden Prairie High School will be the Eagles’ first chance to avenge last season’s loss to the Royals. The Eagles lost their top-three scorers from last season and have gotten off to a 7-8 start to their regular season. However, five of their eight losses have come to top-10 teams in the state, and all of their losses have come by five points or less.

Eden Prairie beat a talented Minnetonka team by 23 points and lost to the number-four team in the state, the Osseo Orioles, by only four points.

Despite losing three of their top scorers from last season, five of the eight players who played in the section championship game have returned to this season’s Eagles. They are led by junior guard Owen Chose, who is averaging 17.3 PPG.

Hopkins will enter Friday night’s game firmly atop the state’s rankings with a record of 15-0. Amir Coffey, senior, leads the Royals with 20.1 PPG. Coffey is averaging 24.8 PPG in the Royals’ last five contests.

“Eden Prairie is always tough, always has a big crowd, and they will be extra motivated after last year’s section final,” said Simon Wright, junior. “Being the number one team in the state, we expect everyone’s best game. Friday will be a fun one.”