By Matt Thomas, Wayzata.com Sports Reporter
Photography by Jon Wright / J&K Creative
Despite a valiant effort against the number four ranked team in the state, the Wayzata girls basketball team lost a heartbreaker, 56-55 to the Hopkins Royals on Tuesday night.
Hopkins senior Jenna Lillemoe made three of four free throws in the final 15 seconds to help the Royals secure the victory and improve to 22-2 on the season. With the loss, the Trojans fell to 12-9.
With the Royals leading 53-49, Wayzata senior Kate Thompson nailed a long three pointer with 17 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 53-52.
The Trojans fouled Lillemoe on the ensuing inbound play and Lillemoe converted both free throws to push the lead out to 55-52.
After Thompson missed a pull-up three pointer that would have tied the game, Lillemoe was fouled again with seven seconds remaining. This time she made one of two free throws to give Hopkins a 56-52 lead.
Thompson came down and made another three pointer with 2.5 seconds left to cut the lead to one, but the Trojans had no timeouts remaining and Hopkins was able to run out the clock without inbounding the ball.
A physical first half saw the Trojans jump out to an early 11-3 lead. Baskets were hard to come by for both teams as the Trojans took an 18-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Royals led by as many as six in the second half, but were never able to put the Trojans away.
Thompson led all scorers with 24 points, while senior forward Christina Keup added nine for the Trojans.
The Royals were led by Lillemoe who scored 14 points, while senior Kara Ellofson added 13.