Blake Hoffarber Sees High School Career End

Blake Hoffarber, a 6-foot-3 senior guard from Hopkins who signed with Minnesota in the fall, saw his high school career end as the two-time defending champion Royals fell to crosstown rival Minnetonka 55-53 in the Section 2 quarterfinals. Hoffarber, who ws GoldenSports.Net's choice for the Twin Cities' Metro Player of the Year, scored 31 points in the loss.

Blake Hoffarbeer was the lone double-figure scorer for the Royals in the loss to Minnetonka. The Royals trailed throughout the first half, but rallied to cut the lead to 30-28 as Minnetonka scored in the closing seconds of the first half.

Hoffarber hit a three-pointer to put the Royals up for the first time in the game, 46-45. However, the Skippers refused to go away. Hoffarber knotted the game at 53-53 with two free throws. Minnetonka held the ball for a final shot as Andy Burns attempted a three-pointer. He missed everything, but C.J. Erickson was "Johnny on the spot" as he put ball in with 1.5 seconds remaining. This was the only points of the final 2 minutes, 50 seconds.

Marcus Williams tried a full-length inbounds pass, but threw the ball too high and hit the rafters above center court.

Minnetonka inbounded the ball, but Ray Cowles stole the ball and quickly called timeout with one-half second on the clock. Hoffarber attempted another full-length pass, but it also hit the rafters. Minnetonka inbounded the ball and ran out the clock for the upset win.

Anthony Tucker scored 18 points for the Skippers. Erickson and Andrew Latzke each scored ten points each. Minnetonka faces Bloomington Jefferson Friday at Burnsville High school.

Hoffarber was GoldenSports.Net's choice for the Twin Cities' Metro Player of the Year as he averaged 25.2 points per game as he led the Royals to a 26-2 mark. Hoffarber had a remarkable 13-game stretch when his scoring average stayed the same or increased. His scoring averaged went from 19.3 to 24.6 as he averaged 27.9 during that stretch. Hoffarber is the state's top outside shooter and is an underrated passer. He lost just five games in his three-year varsity career and won two state titles.

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