Prologue Out into the frigid air to Hopkins to see #1AAAA Apple Valley take on #3AAAA Hopkins in the middle game of a brutal gauntlet for Apple Valley. A good crowd for a week night game but over all a disappointing crowd for a game of this magnitude. AV student section usually very good but not out tonight. Walking Taco was quality as usual with 20 oz of Barq's Root Beer to go with it. Apple Valley so loaded that they can start 4 varsity level kids in the JV game.
Song of the Day Paradise City - Guns N Roses
Total Beverage Consumption Counter: 256 ounces (23 games, 20 days)
- 12 oz Dr Pepper
- 12 oz Sprite
- 40 oz Red Powerade
- 20 oz Red Gatorade
- 92 oz Pepsi
- 60 oz Coke
- 20 oz Barq's Root Beer
Game Time Stephon Sharpe working on Apple Valley's Brock Bertram off the bounce early for 4 quick points and a 7-2 Hopkins lead. Bertram counters with a putback and a layup from Tyus before sitting with 2 quick fouls. 8-7 Apple Valley at 14:43 when that 2nd foul occurs. Sharpe off the bounce again for a 21-17 Hopkins lead at the 11 minute mark. Apple Valley counters with a quick 10-0 run. A putback for 2 free throws sends Sharpe to the bench with 2 fouls. Tyus takes a turnover for 2 out of a 1-2-2 halfcourt trap. Then Tyus to Dennis Austin on the pick and roll. Gary Trent Jr with a strip that becomes 2 more for Tyus and Tyus to Cam Kirksey to end the run. Timeout Hopkins at the 8:45 mark down 27-21.
Tyus coast to coast for 2 and then he finds Trent for 3. Sharpe back in the game as the Royals fall behind by 9. Jake Wright starts to heat up with back to back triples to keep Hopkins close. Bertram surprisingly comes back in at the 5:21 mark and he's back to the bench with #3 at the 4:45 mark. Wright again from the deep beyond to cut the lead to 4. Tyus counters with a 3 point play and Jordan Bolton with a bomb to push the lead back to 10. 53-45 Apple Valley leading at the break. Tyus 16, 5 and 5. Wright with 4 3s for 12.
Trent with a nice floater to push the lead to 58-47 with 15:45 left. Timeout Hopkins to regroup and they do just that. Kamali Chambers for 3 after 2 driving Hopkins buckets and the lead is down to 6. Eagles miss a layup and John Warren turns that into a dunk on the other end for Hopkins. Wright runs and gets a pretty feed for a nice layup. Timeout Apple Valley with 13:15 left as they cling to a 4 point lead. Then Apple Valley goes to 2 guards up top with Tyus running off baseline screens on the blocks. Very strange, you want the ball in his hands at this point, not out. Didn't like that move at all. Warren knocks down a 3, then a turnover and Amir Coffey with a great catch and finish at the rim on a difficult pass from Chambers. Hopkins 65-64 with 11:20 left but Wright and Coffey sit. Not a fan of that either. Maybe 1 or the other but both at the same time was a move that seemed strange. Tyus called for the charge. Chambers adds a drive for a 67-64 Royals lead with 10:45 left. That concludes a 20-6 Hopkins run over 5 minutes.
Bertram with a putback, Tyus 2 freebies and an assist for an easy Austin bucket. That puts Apple Valley back on top. Warren makes 2 free throws to cut the lead to 1 with 8:40 left and a MoKiller timeout from Apple Valley up 72-71. Wright finally comes back in the game. Tyus to Austin again and Tyus coast to coast twice. All of a sudden the Eagles lead is back to 7, 78-71, after a 14-4 run. But Jake Wright again keeps Hopkins going with 3 straight bombs. The last off a Coffey steal and great team find of the hot hand. Tied at 80 with 5:15 left.
Inside 3 minutes left and no fear from the frosh as Trent converts a clutch drive with 2:15 left. Apple Valley hanging on 88-84. Then who else, its Wright with another pure stroke for 3. A dicey foul call after a Trent shot allows Apple Valley to keep possession with 1:39 left. Eagles keep it and Tyus drives but blows the layup. Hopkins can't grab it and Tyus puts it back with 1:20 left. Hopkins misses a 3 on their possession. Now Hopkins has to chase.
They get the ball out of Tyus' hands and Trent turns it over for a Coffey bucket with 40 seconds left. Hopkins down 1. Chambers takes the hit after the inbounds but Tyus will step up and bury 2 free throws with 36.6 left. Sharpe gets a good look at a 3 with 25 seconds left but that's no good. Apple Valley goes on to win 96-90.
Post Game For Hopkins, they fall to 5-1 with the loss. They have another big game against Lakeville North at the tipoff classic on Saturday. Jake Wright with 8 3s and 26 points to lead Hopkins. Stephon Sharpe and Kamali Chambers each with 18. Amir Coffey with a quiet night of 9 points. He was matched up with Gary Trent for a good portion of the night. Fun to see the top 2016 and 2017 kids go at it. Hopkins lacked a physical presence last year and that hurt them, same was true tonight.
For Apple Valley, Tyus Jones with 34 points, 10 boards and 7 assists on my sheet. Overall his shooting was pretty cold after knocking down an early 3. Most of his makes at the rim. Dennis Austin with 14 points and 17 boards. Gary Trent Jr with 12 including a pair of 1st half 3s. After some early success forcing back to back turnovers with the 1-2-2 trap, they never came back to it. I'm sure coach Goring can't be happy with giving up 8 3s to a known sniper, especially when playing man defense.