Nia Coffey of Hopkins blocked a shot by Isieoma Odor in the closing minutes.
An assessment of the two-time defending state champion's first real test of the season included the words "a lot sloppy." Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff wasn't thoroughly impressed by his girls' 65-61 victory at Bloomington Kennedy on Tuesday night.
The Royals have "a lot" of sloppy play to clean up, he said after their second game of the season.
Bloomington Kennedy cleaned up a lot of its early mess to make a run at handing the Class 4A champion Royals their first loss. The Eagles trailed 53-38 early in the second half before switching to a zone defense that changed the tempo of the game.
Jade Martin and Kenisha Bell led the turnaround, scoring 24 and 22 points, respectively.
"I think this gives us good feedback on what we need to do to make state and win state," Bell said. "I think we can if we play as a team."
Hopkins held off the surge with the help of its size. Royals 6-4 center Erin O'Toole and 6-1 forward Nia Coffey not only led the team offensively -- O'Toole scored 14 points, Coffey 12 -- but also provided several defensive stops in the final minutes to secure the victory.
Hopkins suffered a blow in the victory. Sophomore guard Viria Livingston was taken to a hospital at halftime because of what a trainer thought to be an anterior cruciate ligament injury in her left knee.
"It was really sad to see that. It affected us." Coffey said holding back tears. "I just told the girls we had to keep going."