Hopkins girls' basketball coach Brian Cosgriff's message to his team at halftime was clear.
The undefeated Royals, who hadn't trailed at the half all season, faced a 12-point deficit to Wayzata in the Class 4A, Section 6 championship game. Cosgriff kept his message short.
"Let's see what kind of team we are," Cosgriff said he told his team Thursday.
The Royals (29-0) responded. Top-seeded Hopkins mounted a comeback and defeated Wayzata 81-74 at Minneapolis Roosevelt High School to win its sixth section title in seven years.
"We just thought, 'We don't want to lose,' " said freshman guard Paige Bueckers, who led the Royals with 28 points. "We wanted to go to state and finish our journey."
Hopkins was down 37-22 midway through the first half and 41-29 at the start of the second, but took a 46-44 lead with 14 minutes, 50 seconds left in the game.
Leading 75-72 with 1:01 left, the Royals finished a 6-2 run behind two free throws each from DeAnna Winston, Bueckers and Raena Suggs.
"This was a complete team win," Cosgriff said. "It was a good win for Hopkins basketball."
The matchup was much closer than the last meeting between the teams on Feb. 16, when Hopkins won by 37 points. The Royals have not lost to Wayzata since Feb. 21, 2011.
Suggs, a junior guard, added 18 points for the Royals. Hopkins had four players score in double figures.
Sydney Franks led Wayzata (22-7) with 22 points.