Boys basketball: Titans trip to the "State" short lived
Hopkins 70 - Tartan 58
The Tartan Titans and the Hopkins Royals were still rubbing sleep out of their eyes when they tipped the ball at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 12, in the opening game of the 2013 Minnesota State Class AAAA Boys Basketball Tournament at Target Center.
The Royals defeated Tartan convincingly in the quarterfinal game by a count of 70-58, thus ending the Titans' outstanding season.
Of the loss, Tartan head coach Mark Klingsporn summed up his team's effort by saying, "We had too many turnovers in what I call the 'red zone.' They were able to turn them into points.
"We didn't shoot well from three-point range. We kind of hung our hats on how well we shot in the sections and that didn't happen today."
Klingsporn continued, "This is a big stage for our kids, and I think we did some things we don't normally do. Hopkins played solid and forced us to the outside. I thought we could have got more points on the inside.
"Our defense was good today. We don't necessarily pride ourselves on defense. We like to think of ourselves as a good 'play hard' team. I think we did that today. We just turned the ball over too many times."
The statistics bore out Klingsporn's observations. Tartan gave up 24 points off turnovers, while they picked up just 13.
The Titans were matching points with the Royals through the first 10 minutes of the contest. With eight minutes to go, Hopkins went on a run and in the next five minutes outshot the Titans 9-2.
With three minutes remaining, the Royals maintained their lead and closed out the first half with a 9-4 run. They went into the locker room leading 38-27.
The Titans battled hard throughout the second half, but were not able to cut into the first-half margin built by the Royals and went down by the 12-point, 70-58 difference.
Leading the way for the Titans with 15 points apiece were Jordan Horn and Brody Jackson. They were followed by Eric Winter 8, Thomas Hanson 8, Emanuel Humphrey 6, Keenen Bellaphant 4 and John Jenkins 2.
The Titans finished the season with a record of 23-7.
Top-ranked Hopkins went on to face Lakeville North in the championship game March 15 and lost in the final seconds, 84-82.