Leslie Knight leads Hopkins to state title

Leslie Knight, a 6-0 forward/center from Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins, led the Royals to the Minnesota girl's state tournament title with 21 points in their 63-45 win over Lakeville in the Class 4A championship game at the Target Center. Hopkins finished the season 31-1. Knight averaged 21 points and 9.5 rebounds per game and was recently named the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year.

Leslie Knight was the lone Minnesota recruit for the Gophers basketball team. Minnesota signed a strong four-girl class, landing two players from Illinois, Lauren Lacey and Natasha Williams, and Brittney Davis of Portland. Knight averaged 20.3 points, third best in the Metro area, and 9.7 rebounds per game. Knight was recently named among the five finalists for the Miss Basketball Award and is expected to be among the top three finalists.

6-2 center Krista Vande Venter of Osseo, 5-7 guard Katie Tacheny of Woodbury, 5-7 guard Mia Johnson of Minneapolis North and 5-10 guard Danye Guinn of St. Francis are the other finalists.

The winner will be named at the Mr. and Miss Basketball banquet on April 25 at the Holiday Inn West in Minneapolis.

Knight scored the 2,000th point of her career in the Royals' lone loss of the season, a 54-51 overtime defeat to Classic Lake Confernece rival Armstrong. She became the 41st state girl to score 2,000 points.

Knight had led the Royals to two consecutive third-place finishes in the Class 4A state tournament. Knight is a two-time All-Metro and all-state selection.

Knight plays mostly center as well as power forward for the Royals, but she told GoldenSports.Net that she has worked hard on her outside shot to play some small forward for the Gophers.

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