March 14, 2007

Gopher recruits fall in section upsets

The two careers of the 2007 Minnesota Gopher recruiting class ended last night when Hopkins and Minneapolis Henry were upset. Minnetonka beat Blake Hoffarber and Hopkins at the buzzer despite a huge game from Blake while Washburn defeated Henry on a rough night from Al Nolen Jr..

Knowing that Hopkins lit up the scoreboard in previous games with Minnetonka, the Skippers played a slower paced basketball game and was victorious 55-53 when CJ Erickson caught an Andy Burns airball and put it back from under the hoop with only a few seconds remaining.

In two previous seasons, Hoffarber has been the clutch performer on the Royals way to back-to-back state titles. As a sophomore Blake hit a shot at the end of regulation and then the famous "two-hand posterior heave" to give Hopkins the edge in beating Eastview. There was also the driving lay-up in the closing seconds against Eden Prairie as a junior, which turned out to be the biggest play of Blake's second championship season. Last night the low rafters of the Wayzata gym would not give him or his teammates time to complete another miracle finish as two full-court passes hit the ceiling giving them no chance at a third title.

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