There was just something a little different about last night's Hopkins versus Minnetonka match-up in which the Royals won 87-78. The game started with a big pop as Leonard Glass swatted a Marvin Singleton shot and proceeded to tell Marvin about it bit. While they were woofing a silent whistle was blown for a Glass foul and that background silence kind of represented the game.
Minnetonka was ahead early building a 21-12 lead as they did a nice job taking Hopkins top two scorers (Singleton and Joe Coleman) out of it at the start. Coleman sat down and didn't score a point until midway through the first half while Singleton struggled to finish early over the Tonka frontcourt.
Down about four scores it was D.J. Peterson who stepped up his play working to score with a backcut, three or four offensive board putbacks, and some slashing baskets. Peterson is a versatile talent and he showed his ability to rebound, slash, and move the ball equally effectively as the Royals pushed ahead for a halftime lead of 38-36. In that first half Glass picked up three fouls and with his limited minutes he could never really be the athletic frontcourt factor that the Skippers needed.
The teams went to the break after an interesting first half that saw some pretty bad defense, a crowd that was nothing near Hopkins/Tonka games of the past, and disappointing participation from the students who at these schools are usually amongst the wildest and more entertaining.
In the second half the teams went back and forth but you never really had that feeling that Tonka was going to make a run. The Skippers looked frustrated, somewhat tired, and whenever they would make a big play the selection of a bad shot would soon allowing for the Royals to run the other way and take advantage.
Coleman scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half flying all over the place for alley-oop dunks, open floor jams, and baseline driving finishes. Simply put Coleman took advantage of seemingly every bad Tonka offensive possession with a highlight the other way. Singleton did much of the same attacking the Glass-less defense with his power, agility, and ability to absorb and finish.
In the end Hopkins won 87-78 led by the big three of Hopkins (Peterson, Coleman, and Singleton) combining for 66 of the 88 points. Joe had the 27, Peterson put up 20, and a lot of that was in the first half when he needed to score for his team, and Marvin scored 19.
For Minnetonka Tor Anderson led with 20, Cole Stefan scored 17, Nick Latzke had 16, and Chad Howard had 12. The Royals were definitely the more aggressive bunch as they went to the foul line 29 times making 18 free throws while Minnetonka was nine of 11 from the stripe.
Two Sentence Player Notes
Joe Coleman - Showed off that supreme athletic ability as all but one of his field goals were at the rim. He did make a three-pointer complete with good form and a defender in his grill.
Marvin Singleton - Was an unstoppable beast inside as the game hit the wearing points. When Glass was out nobody had the athletic size combo to do anything with him.
D.J. Peterson - The game MVP as he stepped in when his team was faltering some early. Scored when his team needed, rebounded when they needed it, and threw a ton of assists to Coleman.
Zach Stahl - Only had a couple field goals but his impact was on defense as Zach did a great job shutting down some Tonka wings. Had a couple big blocks that gave his team some defensive momentum.
Jeremiah Tolbert - Seems to have settled into a nice sidekick scoring role just taking advantage of the opportunities he is given. Looking at the season long stats this does look like one of the better games.
Tor Anderson - Early on Tor made some really nice plays attacking the basket and finishing shots that I didn't believe he could land when he attempted them. As the game wore on he had some offensive struggles with the Hopkins athletic defenders.
Nick Latzke - Showed more of his slashing game last night scoring more at the rim. Nick didn't get a chance to shoot from the outside very often and we all know what kind of a shooter he can be.
Cole Stefan - It was an up and down night for Cole at both ends. He had some amazing plays like a pair of threes that were beyond NBA range and Cole had a sequence where he blocked a shot high above the rim (he did that twice last night) then flew the other way to catch an alley-oop and finish. But Cole also looked very frustrated at parts of the evening.
Chad Howard - Went toe to toe with Siyani Chambers most of the night and I thought he held his own. Chad made some hustle plays on defense and a couple eye-opening shots on offense but Siyani had the last laugh running his team to a nine point victory.