Two consecutive upsets was one too many to expect out of Minneapolis South.
The Tigers hoped to ride the momentum of their unexpected victory Saturday over Wayzata in the Class 4A, Section 6 semifinals to an even bigger surprise in Thursday's section championship game.
Instead, Hopkins, which knows a lot about big games, won 95-62 over South after racing out to a 15-0 lead. Hopkins (26-3) qualified for the Class 4A state tournament for the seventh time in the past eight seasons and 12th time overall.
The key to South's victory over Wayzata was limiting turnovers, something the Tigers (23-6) did not do Thursday.
They gave the ball away before they scored their first point, fell behind by as many as 24 points and never got closer than 18 points the rest of the game. The Tigers finished with 21 turnovers.
"We knew what they were going to do and we practiced for it, but it's hard to replicate what Hopkins has," South coach Nathan McGuire said.
Particularly when Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff has time to prepare. After learning that South would be the opponent in the section final, Cosgriff dedicated three full days plus to watching film on South.
"We watched quite a bit, but it doesn't matter how much tape we watched," Cosgriff said. "The kids still have to go out and execute the game plan."
Five Royals scored in double figures, led by guard Raena Suggs with 29 points, including four three-pointers. Point guard Paige Bueckers had 20 despite playing what she called "not my best game." Dlayla Chakolis had 18, Amaya Battle 12 and Angie Hammond 11.
"It's amazing," Hammond said. "We had such great energy. We were all on the same page. We knew we were going to come out and win this game."