In order to win the Lake Conference boys' basketball title, the champion is going to have to be victorious in close encounters. That was proven in Friday night's conference openers.
Host Edina surprised Class 4A, No. 1-ranked Hopkins 80-79 on junior forward Jacob Hutson's layup with 16 seconds remaining while about 13 miles away No. 8 Wayzata edged No. 6 Eden Prairie 64-63 on Luke Paulson's 15-foot fadeaway jump shot at the buzzer.
Hopkins missed its final shot with 4 seconds left, and the clock expired as both teams battled for the loose ball near the free-throw line. Hutson wound up with 14 points. Jack Middleton led the Hornets with 31 points. Zeke Nnaji and Dane Zimmer had 21 for the Royals.
At Wayzata, Paulson's game-winning shot came 19 seconds after junior forward Austin Andrews' short jumper gave the Eagles a 63-62 lead. Paulson finished with 20 points. Eden Prairie's Connor Christensen had a team-high 31 points on 13-for-16 shooting and 10 rebounds.
Tartan 89, North St. Paul 72: Antwan Kimmons surpassed 1,000 points in his career and led the Titans past the visiting Polars. He finished with 26 points. Dajuan Carter and Shaheed Muhammad led the Polars with 25 points each.
Wayzata 63, Eden Prairie 45: Kallie Theisen scored 24 points to lead the Class 4A, No. 2 Trojans past the visiting Class 4A, No. 8 Eagles. Nneka Obiazor led the Eagles with 12 points.
Hill-Murray 5, Blake 4 (OT): Joslynn Olson scored 2:30 into overtime to give the Class 2A, No. 10 Pioneers a victory over the host Class 2A, No. 1 Bears.
Blaine 3, Proctor/Hermantown 1: The Bengals overcame an early deficit to defeat the visiting Class 1A, No. 4 Mirage. Alyssa Watkins scored for the Mirage 1:24 into the game. Ramsey Parent and Kaitlyn Ronn scored 17 seconds apart to give the Bengals the lead with 6:12 left in the first period.