Hopkins boys inch closer to conference championship
Deer-hunting season has been over for a while now, but the Hopkins boys’ basketball team is still on the hunt for something: Its first conference championship in 23 years.
“It’s obviously been a while since we won conference around here,” said Vikings coach Jake Jewett. “Just look up on the wall.”
The Vikings took a step closer to achieving that goal with their 78-59 win over Kelloggsville on Friday, Feb. 14.
“It’s been too long,” said Hopkins senior star Tyler Zomerlei, who poured in a game-high 26 points.
Zomerlei, who recently signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Aquinas College, doesn’t always get the recognition he probably deserves, according to Jewett.
“With the Webers (brothers Drew and Colin) around, that can easily happen,” Jewett said.
Jewett said Zomerlei, an excellent student who is in the top 10 in his class, is very capable of playing baseball and basketball at the next level in addition to excelling in the classroom.
“It’s going to require a lot of work on his part, but it’s all up to him,” Jewett said.
When Zomerlei wasn’t driving past a Kelloggsville player for two points, he was dialing baskets from long distance.
“Tyler has great inside moves and is someone who can knock down a basket from long range as well,” Jewett said.
Junior Colin Weber, who has several inside moves of his own, followed Zomerlei in scoring with 21 points. Senior Drew Weber adding 13 points.
“We had several guys who not only played well tonight, but who have played well all season,” Jewett said.
Among those are seniors Trevor Smith, Nathan Tew and Colton Hooker.
Two more league wins will clinch at least a share of Hopkins’ first conference title since 1997.
“I know coach stresses taking it one game at time, but one of our goals is to win conference,” Drew Weber said. “Another goal of ours is to make a long run in the state tournament.”
Hopkins has won 12 of its 15 contests. The only conference loss in nine outings came earlier in the season to NorthPointe Christian, a team the Vikings are scheduled to play on Friday, Feb. 21.