For 18 minutes, it looked like Mimi Schrader's birthday wish wasn't going to come true.
The junior point guard, along with the rest of her Wayzata team, had seen rival Hopkins run up and down the floor in the first half, building a 15-point halftime lead.
But there was still one half to play and the Trojans spent the next 18 minutes showing why they had won their first 15 games. They rallied behind Schrader's leadership and 15 second-half points to defeat the Royals 70-66.
The No. 2, Class 4A Trojans improved to 16-0 while No. 3 Hopkins fell to 14-2.
"This is all I asked for for my birthday, so I guess job well done, right?" asked Schrader, whose runner from the baseline with 3:40 left in the second half put Wayzata ahead for the first time all game, 65-64.
In the first half, Hopkins' up-tempo attack, sparked by its ball-hawking pressure defense, appeared poised to turn a highly-anticipated matchup into a rout. The Royals scored the game's first 12 points and built a lead that swelled to as many as 18. Wayzata coach Mike Schumacher, who watched his team turn the ball over 10 times, changed his tactics in the halftime locker room.
"We played almost exclusively 2-3 zone because what we were doing wasn't working particularly well," he said.
Wayzata has had tight finishes in building its unblemished record. Schumacher said those experiences worked to the Trojans advantage.
"Our record looks gaudy, but we haven't blown anybody out," he said. "Hopefully, that experience in crunch time comes through. It sure did tonight."
Schrader finished with a team-high 20 points and freshman forward Jenna Johnson added 15, 12 in the second half. Paige Bueckers led Hopkins with 15 points and Angie Hammond had 14 points.
"We've won a lot of close ones," Schrader said. "It was fun to be able to pull this one out. I'm really happy right now."