Boys’ basketball loses to No. 1 seed Hopkins

Park fights to end, game Mar. 8 results with final score 59-82

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Boys’ basketball loses to No. 1 seed Hopkins

Senior Adam Bauer protects the ball from Hopkins defender March 8. Park lost to Hopkins 59-82.

Senior Adam Bauer protects the ball from Hopkins defender March 8. Park lost to Hopkins 59-82.

Sadie Yarosh

Senior Adam Bauer protects the ball from Hopkins defender March 8. Park lost to Hopkins 59-82.

Sadie Yarosh

Sadie Yarosh

Senior Adam Bauer protects the ball from Hopkins defender March 8. Park lost to Hopkins 59-82.

Sophie Olmen

After falling to Hopkins in the Section semifinals to close out the season, senior Adam Bauer said the team put up a tough fight and gave it all they had.

“I think we just played our heart out. I think we played one of our best games of the year,” Bauer said.

According to coach Rob Griffin, the team faced multiple challenges including the loss of senior Anthony Rayson due to injury at the start of the game.

“I feel like it went well. I mean we had a ton of bad breaks today — losing one of our top players in the first minute of the game (and) the amount of foul trouble that we had to be able to try to push through especially early in the first half,” Griffin said. “I think with all that stacked against us we battled, and we played well.”

Sophomore Paris Johnson Jr. said the team picked up its intensity in the second half.

“(In the) second half we had way more energy. (In the) first half it took us a while to bring up the energy,” Johnson Jr. said.

According to Bauer, the team started each half off with high energy but faced challenges that caused the team to lose momentum.

“The first half we came out with a lot of energy we had a lot of momentum and then second half same thing,” Bauer said. “Then I think we all got in foul trouble and we got tired and (it) just kind of hurt us in the end which is why they went on a big run.”

According to Griffin, the score stayed close until the end when Hopkins extended its lead to win the game.

“In the first (half we had) a little bit of a struggle down the stretch, but in the second half I mean we made a great push, but then foul trouble again caught back up to us and made it tough to compete down the stretch,” Griffin said.

Johnson Jr. said although Park made successful runs, the defense could have been better at limiting Hopkins’ scoring opportunities.

“We played good, we made runs. We just needed to play better defense and stop them from scoring,” Johnson Jr. said.

Griffin said some players had to step up when their names were called, and they did.

“I think it just goes back to what we’ve been preaching since day one: being a family and looking out for your brother,” Griffin said. “So from Deontez Ross, Jackson McClain, Aaron Ellingson and Adam Bauer — those guys all stepped up when their name was called, and I don’t think there’s any other way to do it.”

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