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Hopkins Beats Eastview to Advance to 4A Championship

March 16, 2017 09:11 PM

Paige Bueckers scored 31 points and Raena Suggs added 16 as Hopkins held off a late Eastview rally for a 64-59 victory Thursday night at Williams Arena in a MSHSL State Girls Basketball Class AAAA semifinal game. 

The Royals (31-0) advanced to the Championship Game for the sixth time in seven years. They will bid to become the first undefeated AAAA champion since 2010 when they face the winner of the Elk River-Lakeville North game Saturday night at Williams Arena. 

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Game time is 8:00 p.m.

The game started fast with Hopkins scoring the first seven points and Eastview matching that to tie the game. The teams traded baskets and then the Royals scored four in a row to take a lead they would never relinquish. They pushed the margin as high as eight points and went into the intermission with a 33-26 advantage. 

The Royals started strong in the second half, outscoring the Lightning 14-4 in the first six and a half minutes of the half to grab a 47-30 lead. Eastview fought back with eight unanswered points to get within nine points at 47-38. 

Hopkins stretched the lead to 14 points only to see Eastview roar back to get within three on two occasions in the last minute of the game. That was as close as the Lightning would get.

Bueckers, a freshman guard who scored 31 in the Royals’ quarterfinal win over Minnetonka, was 12-for-16 from the field, snared six rebounds and had three steals.

Rachel Ranke led Eastview (24-7) with 19 points and a game high five steals. Allie Pickrain added 15 for the Lightning, who will face the loser of the Elks-Panthers game at Gangelhoff Center on Concordia University’s campus Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

(Courtesy: MSHSL staff)

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