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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/15/2012 9:00:32 PM

By Luke Sleeper

Hopkins moved one step closer to repeating as Class 4A girls state basketball champions Thursday night at Target Center with a 55-31 victory over Eastview. The Royals were in control from the start, beginning the game with a 9-0 run. Hopkins took a 33-13 lead into halftime and within several minutes of the second half their starters were out of the game.

“I’m just happy to be playing in these games,” Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff. “It was nice for our team to play well tonight, but my motto has been ‘survive and advance’ and as long as we are doing that I’m feeling good.”

Hopkins senior Sydney Coffey led the way for the Royals by scoring 15 points on 4-for-6 shooting. Coffey and teammate Taylor Anderson displayed exceptional precision from the three-point line; each made three shots from behind the arc as the Royals shot 50 percent from three-point land. Anderson was also the leading rebounder for Hopkins with eight.

“I expect the world from Sydney Coffey,” Cosgriff said. “She has been such an important part of this program since she was a ninth-grader.”

Hopkins (29-1) utilized its quickness and athleticism on defense to prevent Eastview from having much success on its offensive end, forcing the Lightning into 27 turnovers; 10 of them were Royals steals.

The leading scorer for Eastview (25-6) was freshman guard Madison Guebert. She scored seven points Thursday after averaging 18 points during the season.

Another solid performance for Hopkins came from junior forward Nia Coffey, who scored 10 points and had six rebounds. Coffey, a junior, has verbally committed to play at Northwestern.

Hopkins will return to the Target Center at 8 p.m. Saturday to play in the state title game. The Royals previously won state championships in 2004, 2006 and 2011.

OSSEO 57, EDINA 47

The Osseo Orioles advanced to the fifth state championship game in their program’s history with a 57-47 win over No. 2 seed Edina Thursday night at Target Center. After a tight first half that resulted in a three-point advantage for Osseo, the Orioles gained control of the game in the second half and held off a late Edina charge.

Orioles senior Olivia Antilla controlled the paint for much of the night, leading Osseo in scoring with 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting. It was Antilla’s big three-point play early on in the second half that boosted Osseo on its way to gaining control of the game.

Osseo senior and Miss Basketball candidate Mikayla Bailey pitched in with 12 points and six rebounds, while teammate Phillis Webb scored 11 and brought in eight boards.

Edina’s late second-half surge was led by junior MC McGrory, who scored 20 points and had five rebounds in the losing effort. Senior guard Katybeth Biewen scored 16 points.

Clutch free throw shooting closed the deal for Osseo (26-5), which made 19 of its 24 free throw attempts, 15 of them coming in the second half.

Osseo will meet Hopkins in the 4A title game on Saturday night at Target Center. Osseo’s two previous state championships came in 1989 and 2000.

--Luke Sleeper is a journalism student at the University of Minnesota



 


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