Hopkins proved it's the state's best girls' basketball team again Tuesday night.
The Royals, the top-ranked in Class 4A, turned a three-point halftime deficit into a double-digit lead in the first five minutes of the second half, and went on to an 87-77 victory over Class 4A, No. 2 Wayzata in a Lake Conference matchup at the Lindbergh Center.
Defending state champion Hopkins (16-0) extended its winning streak to 48 games.
Connecticut recruit senior guard Paige Bueckers kept the Royals close in the first half with 21 of her 27 points.
Sophomore forward Maya Nnaji got more involved in the second half for the Royals, scoring 17 of her 23 points. She also finished with 11 rebounds.
"I know I can always count on [Nnaji]," Bueckers said. "I can just give her the ball, and she'll make something good happen.
"In the first half I was on fire, but in the second half I couldn't make a shot, so I relied heavily on her."
Wayzata (14-2) closed to within 77-74 with 1 minute, 45 seconds left, but Nnaji quickly doubled the lead with a three-point play. The Trojans' trio of junior forward Jenna Johnson (28 points), sophomore guard Mara Braun (22) and senior forward Anika Stewart (22) combined for 72 points.
Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen and Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma were both in attendance.
Ben Grundhauser of SportsEngine contributed to this report.
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• Junior righthander Max Meyer of Gophers was named to D1Baseball's preseason All-America first team. He was the lone Big Ten player to make it. He was 5-3 last season with 2.11 ERA. In 76⅔ innings, he struck out 87 and walked 20. Batters hit .202 against him.
• Junior captain Shane Wiskus of the Gophers was named the Big Ten and College Gymnastics Association's gymnast of the week after posting top three finishes in five events and helping the Gophers take second place at the Windy City Invitational in Chicago. He won the all-around title (83.550) and took first on parallel bars (14.300) and in floor exercise (14.200).
• Junior Lexy Ramler of the Gophers was named the Big Ten gymnast of the week and teammate Tiarre Sales, a sophomore, event specialist of the week. Ramler took first on beam (10.000) and in the all-around (39.550). Sales finished second on the beam (9.975) with a career-high score. Paced by those two, Minnesota set a program record (49.700) on the beam.