Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hopkins Royals 82 Woodbury Royals 75 (Overtime)

Tailing 65-61 with 1:30 left, Hopkins shut Woodbury out the rest of regulation, finally tying it up and sending the game into OT. Woodbury had an offensive foul and 2 missed front ends of 1 + 1 FT opportunities inside of 1:30.

Then in OT, Hopkins hit 9 FT to pull away from the game (but non-winning) Royals.

Woodbury out-shot Hopkins 44-38 percent, out-rebounded 'em 47-33 and committed only 12 turnovers. Woodbury led 13-7 in 2nd chance points, and led 20-19 in points off turnovers! (You read that right, Woodbury scored more points off turnovers!) The perfect recipe for the big upset.

Oh, but wait. Woodbury made 9-of-18 FT. Not a recipe for a big upset. Woodbury didn't close the deal.

S. Chambers finished with 25 points including 22-of-24 FT. That is closing the deal. Renard Suggs of Woodbury and Demetrius Martin of Hopkins each scored 21; Renard had a game-high 5 assists. Rickey Suggs had 10 points and a game-high 12 boards.


Hopkins knows how to close a deal. Its Hopkins 19 Woodbury 4 since the 1:30 mark of regulation.

After 1:19 of regulation Woodbury has made 1-of-4 FT, Hopkins 7-of-8. Tough to win that way.

73-65 Hopkins with Chambers going to the line yet again. He's 6-of-6 in OT. Now 7-of-7. Now 8-of-8.

Martin for 2, S. Chambers 2 FT, and both Suggs have fouled out in the 1st 1:07 of OT!


65-all, Woodbury has the ball and a timeout at 1.5 seconds. Wright hit a 3 and S. Chambers a 1 to tie it, meanwhile Woodbury missed the front end of 2 1 + 1s. Ouch. Chambers missed a J from the FT line, Woodbury got the rebound and the timout.

Suddenly Woodbury 65-61. Rickey Suggs a drive for 2, then a defensive board and long outlet to Renard for a break-away dunk. But then at 1:28, Woodbury with the ball back, Renard gets the charge call. Hopkins timeout, still 65-61.

S. Chambers had bucket waved off, forced to shoot 1 + 1, makes them both. 61-all at 2:38.

Again, no stoppages, just end to end action! Woodbury 61 Hopkins 59 at 2:54. Woodbury still on a 14-4 run, Hopkins missing some open looks.

Renard and Rickey Suggs with 14 and 10, McKeen with 12 for Woodbury. Martin with 17, S. Chambers 10 for Hopkins. Woodbury up 44-42 percent FG shooting. Woodbury up 31-23 on rebounds. Turnovers 9 for Hopkins 8 for Woodbury!

Four quick scores for Woodbury. Down 54-44, suddenly it's 54-54! 8:55 to play.

Both teams have a nice following here for a Wednesday morning. The Hopkins crowd is estimated at 5X the crowd for their girls last week.

Woodbury on a 10-2 run. Rickey Suggs hitting a 2, a 2 on a coast-to-coast rush after a defensive board,  then an assist and a steal + assist. Finally Renard Suggs a step-back 2 from 15 feet. 47-44 Hopkins takes a timeout.


Trailing 22-15 at the 8 minute mark, Hopkins was forced to take a timeout, but quickly regrouped. Demetrius Martin scored on steal and 2, then a 3, and a minute later a 2 to put Hopkins ahead for the 1st time since 10-9 at 28-27. The latter hoop came off a defensive rebound by Kamali Chambers who took the ball coast-to-coast, or almost, before laying it off the Martin.

Woodbury had kept Hopkins from running up until that point but more fast break points and points off turnovers ensued and suddenly Hopkins was up by 10. Woodbury scored a pair of FT after a S. Chambers foul under his offensive hoop at 0:01.1. Oops. 42-34 at the half.

Hopkins is now shooting 48 percent to Woodbury's 42, and 5-of-11 3s to Woodbury's 2-of-11. Woodbury leads on the boards 20-15 and each team has 7 turnovers. Woodbury is doing everything it needs to do to win except put the ball in the basket. It missed maybe 5 lay-ups in the 1st half and a couple other shots went down down down down and back up again.

Mostly Woodbury is protecting the ball, but even off the defensive board Hopkins has found ways to run and that was the difference late in the half


And now Rickey Suggs, his 3rd at 1:37.

Hopkins in the midst of a nice run 34-28 at 2:00. And Renard Suggs just picked up his 3rd foul.

Too much action to stop and describe. Suffice it to say it is 28-28 at 4:07.

Robt Claypool scores off the offensive board and McKeen on a pretty feed from Claypool. 22-15 Woodbury. Hopkins timeout approaching 8:00. Woodbury doing a great job on the boards--no Hopkins 2nd chances.

Suggs hit another 3 and has out-scored Siyani Chambers 10-0. Woodbury up 16-12 at 11:08.

Benj. Rexroth's put-back and Connor McKeen's steal and 2 had Woodbury up 9-7 until a Demetrius Martin 3 put Hopkins back up 10-9 at 13:58.

Woodbury has indeed avoided early jitters. Renard Suggs hit a 3 and a 2 for a 5-4 lead at 15:14.

It will be a battle Royal--guaranteed!--between the Hopkins Royals and the Woodbury Royals in the 1st AAAA quarter-final today (Thursday, March 21) at the Target Center.

I will be blogging all day from the Target Center, so please stop by early and often. 4 AAAA games followed by 2 AA games. Whew!

The Royals (Hopkins edition) are looking to become the 1st boys team ever to win 4 straight state titles AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL. Rated #1, seeded #1, despite the loss of Zach Stahl for the tournament. All the scuttlebutt is concerning Akolda Manyang's absence from the Duluth East lineup, but Stahl is just as important to his team.

Still, there'll be no early-game jitters on the part of these Royals. As to the Royals (Woodbury edition) one cannot be as certain. The BIG key to this ball game is Woodbury avoids the jitters, protects the ball, avoids giving up any easy baskets and avoids falling behind in the early going.

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