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Girls Basketball, Class AAAA semifinals: Hopkins 79, Stillwater 51

Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2023 - 9:54 PM


Hopkins was off and running again on Thursday, March 16 and the destination is a familiar one.

The top-seeded Royals scored off the opening tap and didn’t slow down until completing a 79-51 victory over No. 4 Stillwater in the Class AAAA semifinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Girls Basketball State Tournament at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus. Senior guard Taylor Woodson, a University of Michigan recruit, scored 23 points, had 12 rebounds and dished out three assists to lead an up-tempo, powerful attack on both ends of the floor that paved the way into the big-school championship game for the second consecutive season and sixth time since 2016.

Hopkins (28-2) is seeking a successful state title defense and first consecutive crown since winning three in a row from 2011-2013.

Woodson scored 15 of her points in the first half when Hopkins built a 46-28 lead. She was 5 of 8 from the field and drew fouls with slicing drives that sent her to the free throw line seven times. The Royals maintained their high-pressure defense throughout the second half and coaxed Stillwater (26-6) into 18 turnovers. Junior Liv McGill added 17 points and five assists for the Royals, who won their ninth consecutive game.

Sophomore guard Liana Buckhalton scored 16 points and had six rebounds for the Ponies. Sophomore forward Elise Dieterle chipped in 14 points.

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