Royals win by the seat of their pants

By Wally Langfellow
Photo by Tom Dahlin
March 20, 2005

MINNEAPOLIS, MN: If you didn't see it with your own two eyes, you wouldn't believe what happened Saturday night (March 19) at Target Center. Hopkins' Blake Hoffarber hit a game tying shot while sitting on the floor as time expired in overtime to force a second overtime where the Royals beat Eastview for the Boys Class 4A State Basketball Championship. The shot by Hoffarber came from 18 feet away with less than one second remaining and Hopkins trailing by two. The Royals went on to outscore Eastview in the second overtime by 11 points to win 71-60.

"I didn't see it" said Hopkins coach Ken Novak Jr after the game, but he'll take it. Hoffarber, who also hit a 3 pointer with 24 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, led all scorers with 25 points. Eastview overcame a 15-point halftime defecit and led by 3 late in regulation when Hoffarber hit a game tying shot. At the end of the first overtime it appeared that Eastview's Darren Kent had hit a gamewinner as he tipped in a shot with 2.5 seconds remaining. That's when Hoffarber came to the rescue with a shot that will live in high school basketball infamy picking up the lose ball while sitting on the floor and putting in the game tying basket.

Kent led Eastview (27-5) with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Hopkins finished the season at 31-1.

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