Red Knights give Royals a run for their money

Mike Geer

Any skeptics who doubted BSM’s metro rank as number 10 were quieted as the Red Knights traded punches with regional juggernaut Hopkins on January 30th. Though the 87-72 score may hint toward a blowout, the game was anything but. Need proof? The lead changed 14 times throughout the game, and, until the last two minutes, Hopkins’ largest lead of the game was a mere six points.

Despite losing their entire starting line-up to graduation, the Royals again have assembled a team capable of winning a state title. The Red Knights, however, tried to ignore the hype and prestige surrounding Hopkins’ program. “They’re just another team we have to play,” said senior Seth Marx. “We couldn’t just roll over and die because we were playing Hopkins.”

The Red Knights jumped to an early lead due in large part to stellar shooting by sophomore Isaiah Zierden and senior Darren Glover. Riding on Zierden, Glover, and sophomore Sanjay Lumpkin’s eight combined three-pointers, the Red Knights entered the intermission with a 41-37 lead. “I think everybody was surprised by how well we played in the first [half]” said junior Tommy Nelson.

Much of the second half mirrored the first––deep shots, lead changes, high-flying dunks, and plenty of entertainment. To the dismay of Red Knight fans, sophomore Isaiah Zierden’s three with six minutes left would be the last field goal for the home team, with the exception of a layup by senior Peter Crawford. From then on, Hopkins dominated, forcing seven Red Knight turnovers and going on a 20-4 run.

“It was a good game for about 32 minutes,” said coach John Moore, “but for the last four minutes they executed and we didn’t.” An acrobatic dunk by Royals’ junior Joe Coleman with two minutes left put the nail in the coffin for the Red Knights. Coleman’s dunks, which contributed to his game-high 33 points, were an emphatic reminder of why Hopkins is considered one of the top teams in the Midwest. High scorers for the Red Knights included Crawford with 19, Zierden with 15, and Glover with 11.

But this narrow loss was not all bad for the Red Knights––the first 32 minutes were a glimpse of the talent the Red Knights possess, a talent that could easily result in a trip to the state tournament in a few weeks’ time. “We’ve got to keep our eyes on the prize,” said Marx, “We can’t get too ahead of ourselves.”