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Hopkins dismantles Minneapolis North with a second-half rally

By Thaddeus Carroll, SportsEngine, 01/25/19, 9:15AM CST


Led by Zeke Nnaji's 36 points, the Royals had little trouble putting away the Polars after being tied at the break.

Hopkins Zeke Nnaji (22) powers through traffic in the lane. Nnaji led all scoring with 36 points helping Hopkins to a 84-66 win over Minneapolis North on Friday night. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

Minneapolis North was sniffing a major road upset Friday night against the top team in the state’s largest class.

Polars guard Eli Campbell was feeling good, pulling up sometimes as much as five feet behind the line and splashing in five of his first eight attempts from three against Hopkins, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News.

Hopkins guard Kerwin Walton (12) drives in for a layup. Walton added 17 points in the Royals 84-66 win over the Polars. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

First Report

Zeke Nnaji, one of the state's top D-I basketball recruits, showed why he is so sought after Friday night, sparking Hopkins, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News, to an 84-66 win over No. 2-2A Minneapolis North.

The forward scored 36 points and shot 15-of-18 from the free-throw line as the Royals (16-2, 1-1) outscored the No. 2-2A Polars 46-28 in the second half of what was a 38-38 tie at halftime.

Eli Campbell led the Polars (11-5, 5-0) with 16 points after making five 3-pointers in the first half and four during an 18-4 run that gave Minneapolis North a 29-23 lead late. He later fouled out with 7:26 to play.

Minneapolis North's Nasir El-Amin tried to pick up the offensive reins and also scored 16 in his teammate's stead.

The Royals' Kerwin Walton scored and Jalen Dearring provided help to Nnaji, adding 17 points and 16 points respectively.    

Eli Campball (2) led scoring for the Polars with 16 points despite leaving the game with five fouls in the second half. Minneapolis North fell 84-66 to Hopkins on Friday night. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

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