With a number-one ranking throughout the year, Hopkins High School is used to playing with a target on their back. Wednesday afternoon was no different as they entered the state tournament against a tough Owatonna team.
Senior wing Joe Coleman set the tone early, nailing a jumper just seconds into the game. Owatonna quickly rallied taking a lead and extending it to five points with 9:28 left in the first half. Hopkins, a team not used to playing from behind, played tough and took back the lead just over a minute later thanks to the play of forward Marvin Singleton. Led by Coleman the Royals began to pour it on, extending their lead to 11 points at the break. Coleman had a dominant first half with 14 points on 6-10 shooting to go with two assists, two steals, and a blocked shot.
The second half continued similarly to the first, with Hopkins playing well and extending their lead. With 15:15 left in the game, Hopkins took their lead to 17 points. Just as Owatonna looked like they were out of the game, they battled back to cut the lead to just six points at the seven minute mark. With the game again becoming close, Hopkins stepped up, bringing their lead up to 18 points with only 2:47 to play. Owatonna continued to fight but fell short, losing to the top-ranked Royals by a score of 71-57.
Future Gopher Joe Coleman played well on Wednesday. He ended the game with 20 points on 8-14 shooting to go with four rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists.
Andre McDonald, a junior for Hopkins and a 2012 Gopher commit at wide receiver, played only 12 minutes and had one point, one rebound and one steal.
Northern Iowa commit Mavin Singleton played an excellent game for Hopkins. The senior forward tallied 20 points as well as a game-high 16 rebounds.