Hopkins and Champlin Park were playing an even straight up contest until the Rebels began raining threes. First Concordia-Moorhead committed Jordan Reibling nailed a triple then surprising Brandon Davis nailed a pair of threes and Champlin Park took a 28-17 lead. The lead was built to 14 points when Jasper Duberry hit a pull-up triple with Siyani Chambers in his face.
Hopkins closed the gap when they turned the heat up on the defensive end. Buckets in transition from Riley Dearring, Joe Coleman, and Siyani Chambers brought Hopkins within five in the final minute. However, the Royals seemed to get a little comfortable after closing the gap and the Rebel experience took advantage on a driving score from Josh Pella and another three from Duberry.
Hopkins tied the game at 40 on the broad shoulders of Coleman and Marvin Singleton in the second half. Joe made his second triple of the game and had a three point play the hard way attacking the cup, taking the foul, and then hanging to finish. In addition, Singleton exploded from the elbow to the hoop for a score and his rebounding cleared all the Rebel misses.
Twenty-four hours removed from a loss at Minneapolis North (the Royals' second loss in row) the young Hopkins ship seemed to be taking on a little bit more water. But with Joe and Marvin's production came some energy on the bench and a boost on the defensive end. The light turned on and Hopkins was playing the same way they started the year. Jeremiah Tolbert hit a three, Coleman leaked out for a dunk, and D.J. Peterson weaved through the defense with his dribble for a scooping lay-in. Coleman put the icing on the cake when he picked off a pass, attacked, was fouled by Duberry, and still hung in the air to score. Eight game minutes after being down ten at the half Hopkins was up a dozen (56-44).
The Royal gas gage started pointing to the red with six minutes to go and some of the regulars needed a break. Four of the five guys on the floor for Hopkins where underclassmen and not very big players either. Seeing this Pella went to work driving for two scores and making a three bringing the Rebels closer at 61-55. As quick as he could coach Ken Novak Jr. put the experience back in and Coleman responded scoring on a pair of drives followed by a Tolbert trey. Then with four minutes left Singleton out-battled three Rebels for an o-board and that Hopkins swagger looked completely back.
What does Lee Corso say? Not so fast my friend! Champlin put on some full court pressure and the Royal turnovers mounted up. Pella went on the attack once again capitalizing on the miscues by scoring five points in about 15 seconds and it was 70-67 with under a minute to go. Problem for Champlin was that time was limited and the Royals slammed the down making numerous free throws. Coming off a two game losing streak the Royals won 74-69.
Joe Coleman led all scores with 24 points on nine of 17 shooting. Joe made two of his three three-point attempts and four of eight free throws. Add in eight boards, three assists, and a pair of steals and it was a nice win. He did have five turnovers though. Singleton made eight of ten shots for 20 points and recorded a double-double when you add in the 11 rebounds. He also had five turnovers. Tolbert and Peterson each scored ten points.
For the Rebels Duberry led with 17 but he was five of 18 from the field and two of eight from behind the arc. Jasper had two assists against four turnovers. Pella scored 14 points with five rebounds and Davis had 13 points on four of 11 shooting. Kyle Zimmerman also shot four of 11 and he was held to a dozen points and five boards. Reibling was the 5th in double figures with 11.
Hopkins improved to 8-2 while Champlin Park fell to 7-3 with the loss.