Girls Basketball Class AAAA Semifinals: Chaska 67 Hopkins 62
Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 - 6:38 PM
The Streak is over, courtesy of the Chaska High School girls basketball team.
The Hawks put an end to a record-setting bid by Hopkins with a 67-62 victory over the Royals in the Class AAAA semifinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Girls Basketball State Tournament on Wednesday, April 7 at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. Junior forward Mallory Heyer scored 24 points and pulled down 13 rebounds and sophomore guard Kennedy Sanders added 20 to send the Hawks (17-0) to a championship game for the first time since finishing as the Class AAA runner-up in 1998.
The loss ends the Hopkins winning streak at 78 consecutive games. The spree, which began on Nov. 23, 2018, was tied with Fosston for the longest in Minnesota girls basketball state history. Fosston assembled its run of 78 in a row from Dec. 21, 1999 through March 7, 2002.
Hopkins (16-1) was the No. 1-ranked team in the country entering the game. Chaska is ranked No. 25.
Hopkins appeared to be on the verge of continuing their winning streak when they had surges in the second half to pull to within breathing distance. However, Chaska would not surrender its lead, and instead, extended the advantage with offensive blasts of its own and timely defense.
Hopkins, which had trailed by as many as 13 points early in the second half, chipped and scrapped until pulling to within 46-45 on a runner by junior guard Amaya Battle with 8:35 remaining in regulation time. Moments later, Chaska found a little breathing room when junior forward Mallory Heyer muscled in a layup for a short-lived, 50-47 lead. Teammate Sanders, though, stretched it to four, 53-49 off a made three-pointer from the left wing with 6:14 left.
Chaska led by as many as nine points twice in the first en route to a 34-27 lead at the break. Sophomore guard Kennedy Sanders and junior forward Mallory Heyer were the two ignitors in the first half for Chaska. Sanders had a team-high 14 points and three assists while Heyer, a University of Minnesota commit, had 11 points and nine rebounds. The Hawks had a 14-0 late in the first half that paved the way to that halftime advantage.
Sophomore guard Nu Nu Agara led the Royals with 13 points and sophomore forward Taylor Woodson chipped in 10 en route to a team-high 16.