Hopkins avenges playoff loss to Hamilton
After being eliminated from the postseason by Hamilton last season, the Hopkins boy’s basketball team had the opportunity for some revenge when the teams met on Friday, Dec. 13.
And revenge the Vikings got in the form of a 64-55 win.
This was the third straight time that the 1-1 Vikings have beaten the 0-2 Hawkeyes during the regular season.
“I’m sure they brought it up that we knocked them out of (district play last year,” Hamilton coach Nick Kronemeyer said.
Kronemeyer and Hopkins coach Jake Jewett had praise for both teams.
“Our two schools are very similar in so many ways,” Kronemeyer said. “Most of our players and their players, I assume, come from a hard-working farm community and both teams give it everything they have.”
“Neither team wants to lose,” Jewett said. “It doesn’t matter what the records are. Both of these teams play hard.”
The Hawkeyes took some early momentum by scoring the first 10 points of the game. Six of those came on 3-point baskets by Brody DeWitt and Logan Zoerhof.
“I thought Brody (who finished with 11 points) played very well,” said Kronemeyer.
Trevor Smith swished a free throw to finally get Hopkins on the scoreboard halfway through the opening quarter.
Even though the hot-shooting Hawkeyes were up 12-2, the Vikings fought back to tie the game at intermission 33-33 behind the play of the Tyler Zomerlei (26 points), Colin Weber (15 points), Drew Weber (11 point), Trevor Smith (10 points) and Nathan Tew (seven points).
Jewett couldn’t say enough about the performance of Zomerlei.
“Because of the Webers and Trevor Smith, there are times that Tyler doesn’t get enough credit for the way he plays,” Jewett said.
DeWitt finished with 11 points, which was one more than Andrew Helder recorded for Hamilton. Jager Haverdink and Zoerhof dropped in eight and seven points, respectively.
The Hawkeyes, who scored only two points in the third stanza to trail 57-35 heading into the final quarter, made a game out it over the final eight minutes.
“These guys have no quit in them,” Kronemeyer said. “It’s obviously early into the season, but I can already tell that’s one of the things that I’m going to like the best about this team.”
Even though Hopkins knocked down only 23-of-41 free throws, the Vikings made 16 more freebies than Hamilton.