Boys basketball undefeated no more


Ishmael El-Amin, junior, holds the ball in the Royals’ loss to the Trojans Friday night. Hopkins now has a record of 21-1 on the season.

Max Weesner, Sports Blogger

With 6:21 left in the game Friday night, Hopkins head coach Kenny Novak fell to his knees in disbelief after Wayzata guard Gavin Baumgartner slid underneath Amir Coffey, senior, on a shot attempt, and a charge was called. That moment summed up the night.

All game long, the Hopkins Royals were frustrated by the Wayzata Trojans and the referees. Wayzata slowed down the game, making the Royals play mostly in the half-court, not allowing them to get out in transition as much as usual. The normally high-powered Hopkins offense scored only nine points in the first 11:25 of the game.

“Our shots weren’t falling, and we weren’t getting the looks we needed,” said Simon Wright, junior. “Being a high-scoring team, we’re used to putting points up quick. When that didn’t happen, we got rushed and started taking quicker shots.”

The Royals scored 58 points, their lowest total of the season by 21 points.

As a result, the Trojans beat Hopkins for the first time in 24 years and 55 tries by a score of 71-58. They were led once again by senior point guard Johnny Beeninga, who scored a game-high 23 points.

For the Royals, Xavier Johnson, senior, led the team with 17 points. Coffey added 15.

The Trojans and Royals are now tied atop the Lake Conference standings with records of 4-1, respectively. The next potential meeting for the two teams would be in the section 6AAAA tournament. If the teams are seeded one and two in the tournament as expected, they would potentially play each other in the section championship on March 2 at 7 pm at Osseo High School.

After their first loss of the season, Hopkins bounced back, defeating the Caledonia Warriors by a score of 105-73 on Saturday.

Next up for the Royals is a home matchup with Cretin-Derham Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7 pm.