Hopkins suffers first loss of season to FHE
Losses, no matter when they occur, are seldom fun.
But some losses are harder than others, including the first loss of the season and the last loss of the season.
Members of the Hopkins boys’ basketball team had to deal with the former at the Cornerstone University High School Holiday Tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
“This is tough,” said senior guard Hunter Lewellyn after Forest Hills Eastern dealt the Vikings their first loss of the season by a 57-47 final score.
Hopkins entered the game with a perfect 4-0 record.
Lewellyn led the Vikings in scoring with 13 points in the losing cause.
“We didn’t play as well as we needed to,” Lewellyn said. “Our defensive transition just wasn’t there.”
The Hawks sealed their second win in five outings by ruling the fourth quarter, outscoring the Vikings by 10 points during the final eight minutes of play.
“That quarter and a season-high 15 turnovers were the difference in the game,” said second-year Hopkins coach Jake Jewett.
Hopkins also had a difficult time putting the ball in the basket against Forest Hills Eastern’s zone defense.
“We had a lot of open looks, but our shots just weren’t falling,” Jewett said.
Drew Weber followed Lewellyn in putting points in the Hopkins scorebook with 11. Younger brother Colin Weber matched Tyler Zomerlei for third on the team in scoring as each tossed in eight points.
Red-hot shooting from Solomon White (23 points) and Taylor Mitchell (19 points) helped pave the way for the Hawks’ victory.
“We don’t win this game without my two guards,” said Hawks coach Jason Yelding, a 2000 Holland West Ottawa graduate.
Yelding will be surprised if Hopkins doesn’t reel off several wins this winter.
“That’s a good team,” Yelding said. “We felt fortunate to catch them at the right time.”
Yelding came away impressed with the play of both of the Weber brothers..
“Two very talented players,” Yelding said. “I also liked the game of No. 14 (Hunter Lewellyn). He’s a real hustler.”
The loss put Hopkins in the tournament’s consolation bracket, setting up a meeting with Cedar Springs on Saturday, Dec. 29.
And for the first three quarters, the Vikings were on cruise control as they built up a lead of as many as 20 points at 36-16.
Things did tighten up, with the Hopkins leading shrinking to as few as six points in the final quarter before the Vikings hung on for the 52-45 win.
Jewett thought for a moment or two about putting his starters back on floor when the game got a little too close for comfort for some of the Hopkins faithful, but ultimately decided to stick with his reserves for the most part.
“My ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th players deserve to play just like my first five players,” Jewett said. “This was an opportunity for them.”
Colin Weber, who finished with 12 points, was the lone Hopkins player named to the all-tournament team.
Zomerlei finished one point ahead of Colin Weber in scoring with 13, while Kyle Pierce was third for the Vikings with nine points.