Kerwin Walton's layup with just over a minute to go gave Hopkins its first lead of the second half in its come-from-behind 84-79 victory over DeLaSalle in boys' basketball action Saturday night at the Breakdown Tip Off Classic at Hopkins High School.
The Royals, ranked fourth in Class 4A, trailed by as many as 13 points after the Islanders, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, knocked down nine first-half three-pointers. Walton helped erase that deficit with a trio of three-pointers of his own midway through the second half, pulling the Royals within one at 65-64.
After Walton's go-ahead basket, the Royals got a defensive stop and Zeke Nnaji grabbed an offensive rebound and converted a three-point play to seal the win.
"We did a good job of continuing to set people up and get good shots. We didn't panic," Hopkins coach Ken Novak said. "In the first half they were getting us to rush and in the second we dealt with that a little bit better."
Walton and point guard Blaise Beauchamp scored 19 points apiece to pace Hopkins. Nnaji added a double-double, scoring 17 points and hauling down 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-9 junior led the Royals to a 40-25 advantage on the glass.
"We went into the locker room and talked about forcing them to do what we wanted them to do," Nnaji said. "We had to run them off the three-point line and force them into the paint where we had help."
DeLaSalle's Jamison Battle knocked down six three-pointers on his way to a game-high 24 points. Teammate Tyrell Terry finished with 20 points and Gopher commit Gabe Kalscheur scored 17.
Minnehaha Academy 61, Park Center 55: Trailing Class 4A, No. 3 Park Center by 16 points early in the first half, Class 2A, No. 1 Minnehaha Academy didn't panic. The defending state champions steadily climbed their way back into the game, eventually taking their first lead when Jalen Suggs converted a three-point play that made it 50-48 with 5:52 to go. The basket was part of a 22-3 surge that carried the Redhawks to the victory.
Apple Valley 81, Minneapolis North 73: Having Tre Jones on the court made all the difference for the Eagles. With the future Duke player relegated to the sideline with two fouls for the final nine minutes of the first half, Class 2A, No. 2 Minneapolis North erased a double-digit deficit and pulled even with the Class 4A defending state champ. Jones returned for the second half and helped the Eagles win, scoring 15 of his 19 points in the second half and grabbing a team-high 13 rebounds. His soaring dunk brought older brother Tyus Jones and several of his Timberwolves teammates to their feet and put Apple Valley up by seven points with 7:14 to go. The Eagles played without senior guard Luke Martens, who is sidelined by a broken left thumb suffered in practice. Taylor Johnson led Minneapolis North with 21 points.
Cretin-Derham Hall 77, Orono 76: Jarvis Thomas Omersa threw down several rim-rattling dunks, but it was Daniel Oturu's defense that proved to be the difference late in a showdown between two future Gophers. Oturu scored 21 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked seven shots for Class 4A, No. 2 Cretin-Derham Hall. Omersa had 18 points.