Hopkins forward Zeke Nnaji had scored 20 points in all but five games this year heading into Wednesday's matchup against Wayzata.
The 6-11, Arizona-bound senior scored 29 points as the Royals defeated the Trojans 82-71 in the Class 4A, Section 6 championship game at Osseo High School.
Nnaji had 17 points in the second half, despite constant double-teams from the Trojans, to lead Hopkins (24-4) to its first state tournament berth since 2016.
"He's probably as versatile a player as you're going to see," Hopkins coach Ken Novak Jr. said. "He's a top player in the country, so we kind of expected that out of him."
Nnaji said losses to Wayzata in the 2017 and 2018 Section 6 championship games served as motivation for his team.
He said he had expected double-teams from the Trojans and that he looked to pass to teammates cutting to the basket or to make a quick move before the double-team arrived.
He praised teammate and fellow Division I recruit Kerwin Walton, a 6-5 junior, for his shot-making. Walton finished with 25 points, including five three-pointers in the first half.
"He really brought it in for us and hit some big-time shots," Nnaji said.
Novak said Wayzata gives Hopkins trouble because of its tendency to spread the ball around. He downplayed the past two section losses to Wayzata serving as motivation for his team.
Guard-heavy Wayzata was only 9-for-29 shooting from three-point range, making only four in a 28-point first half. Senior guard Jacob Beeninga, the Trojans' career leading scorer, finished with 30 points. Freshman Camden Heide added 23.
"We really just didn't score the ball at the level that we're capable of scoring tonight," Wayzata coach Bryan Schnettler said.
Class 2A, Section 5
Minneapolis North 53, Litchfield 49: The top-seeded Polars finished the game on an 8-4 run to defeat fourth-seeded Litchfield.
Nasir El-Amin led the Polars with 16 points and Davon Townley Jr. had 12. Liestman led the Dragons with 14 points, Owen Boerema had 13 and Alex Gruenke had 10.
Breck 75, Maranatha 65: The second-seeded Mustangs took a five-point lead into halftime and gradually extended it in the second half. David Roddy led Breck with 22 points, Joey Ganley had 19, Jaren Morton had 15 and Andy Ott had 10. Hakim Daniels, Justin Mason and Tristan Lee led Maranatha with 11 points each.
Class 2A, Section 2
St. Charles 65, Caledona 63: The sixth-seeded Saints upset the second-seeded Warriors in the semifinals at Rochester Mayo Civic Center.