it was a historic night for the Hopkins Royals as Nia Coffey scored 25 points and helped break open a close game to lead them to a xxxx win over the Bloomington Kennedy Eagles in the Class AAAA championship game Saturday night at Target Center in Minneapolis.
It was the fifth overall and thrid straight title for Hopkins, who joins New York Mills, Minneapolis North and DeLaSalle as the only other state tournament threepeaters. The last time Hopkins and Kennedy played for the state AAAA title was 2006 with the Royals victorious 65-48.
Coffey started the scoring for the Royals but they were chilly from the field, shooting 24% from the field in the first half and held on to a 28-26 halftime lead.
Hopkins reigned supreme in the second half, starting out with a 15-0 run. Foul trouble began to plague Kennedy as jade Martin picked up her third foul with 14:25 left. The Eagles went 6:57 without changing the 26 from their portion of the scoreboard until Kenisha Bell scored.
Coffey ground her way through the Eagle defense, picking up two blocks and a rebound before she temporary left the game after falling in the post. She later returned to the game. Kennedy did have a bright spot late in the game but they couldn't muscle their way back into a single figure deficit against a strong Hopkins defense.
With :56.7 left in the game, royal head coach Brian Cosgriff started to clear the bench and let the reserves get some playing time.
Taylo anderson was the only other Hopkins player in double figures, adding 11 points. Coffey also had 16 rebounds and four blocks. Jade Martin led kennedy with 19.
In the third place game at Concordia University in St. Paul, Eastview beat Osseo 58-43.
Hopkins head coach Brian Cosgriff described the girls team's success breeding from Ken Novak Jr. leading the boys team to multiple state titles.
"we work really well together. We just try to follow in work ethic, study habits and attention to detail."
He also commented on coaching a player like Coffey, who will be playing next season at Northwestern.
"It's been great. She can make a coach look awful good."
Attendance for Championship Saturday was 8,139. Total tournament attendance was 36, 976.