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Hopkins races past Cambridge-Isanti behind Nnaji's 23 points

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 03/11/20, 11:15AM CDT


The Royals' Maya Nnaji controlled the lane, adding seven rebounds and three blocked shots in an 85-55 victory over the Bluejackets.

Hopkins’ Maya Nnaji was fouled by Cambridge-Isanti’s Jana Swanson in the first half of their Class 4A quarterfinal Wednesday at Williams Arena. Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES • liz.flores@startribune.com

Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff and Royals’ superb senior Paige Bueckers rarely have conflicts. But they were diametrically opposed on one topic after the Royals’ 85-55 victory over Cambridge-Isanti in the Class 4A quarterfinals.

A question was posed: Do they like playing the early game, in this case 10 a.m., in the first round?

“I love playing it,” Cosgriff said. “You get a nice fan support. And it generally means you’re the No. 1 seed.”

“No,” replied Bueckers, shaking her head. “I’m not really a morning person. I had to get up at 6:30.”

It mattered little in terms of results. Hopkins forced 13 first half turnovers and got 17 points from 6-4 sophomore post Maya Nnaji in the first 18 minutes to take a 54-24 halftime lead.

First report

Hopkins got its quest for a second consecutive Class 4A state title started in the right way, dominating Cambridge-Isanti 85-55 for its 61st consecutive victory.

The Bluejackets (20-10) had no answer for Hopkins’ 6-4 sophomore post Maya Nnaji, who controlled the lane and finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Paige Bueckers scored just seven points, a season-low, but she only took four shot and spent most of the game getting her teammates involved

Amme Sheforgen led Cambridge-Isanti with 13 points.

Check back later for more on the game.

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