Hopkins and Martin ushered in the 2021-22 girls’ basketball season Tuesday night in a neighborhood rivalry game dominated by Viking junior center Mady Weber.
Hopkins doubled up the Clippers 48-24, running away with the ballgame in the last three quarters.
Weber, the “little” sister of Olivet College cager Drew Weber and University of North Carolina-Charlotte grid star Colin Weber, showed everybody that athletic ability certainly runs in the family.
The two teams came out of the lockerroom wound up tighter than a drum and a 2-2 deadlock at the end of the first quarter showed it. Weber and Martin’s Madison Bogdan scored the only two baskets of the first eight minutes.
But things went south for the Clippers in the first minute next stanza, as Hopkins junior Corrie Wisser, perhaps better known as the setter for the volleyball team, drilled a three-point basket and Hopkins never trailed after that. Weber scored three times in the paint and the Vikings were up 16-6 at intermission.
Adding to Martin’s woes was a pesky Vikings’ full-court press that sometimes picked up a turnover and more often made things difficult to get the ball past the time line.
Sophomore Ellie Sebright nailed a three to widen the gap to 22-8 and it looked like the game would turn into a rout.
But Clippers’ sophomore point guard Makala Goddard came up with a four-point play by swishing a three and adding a free throw and then nailed a three to cut the deficit to 27-17. But that’s about as close as it got for the rest of the evening.
Weber spent much of the evening getting loose under the basket, and in one case guard Neveah Helderop tossed a nifty pass to her on the baseline for an easy two.
Weber finished with 22 points, only two shy of Martin’s team total. Wisser collected three threes and had nine points and Sebright scored eight points in her varsity hoops debut.
Goddard led the Clippers with seven points, all in that torrid stretgch in the third period. Freshman Avery Jager netted five points in her maiden varsity effort.
The Vikings’ defense held Martin’s top gun, Gracie Shettler, scoreless in the first half and she finished with only two points, plagued by foul troubles.
It was a nasty wakeup call for Martin, which last year claimed a regional championship.
Coach Ben Schipper said, “Tonight didn’t go our way in terms of the end result, but we were very pleased with the progress we have made in the first few weeks of practice. We, of course, have many things to work on, but there were a lot of positives to take away. We rebounded as a team very well, our defense was solid in the first half, and we handled their full court pressure fairly well as the game went on.
“The game got a way from us a bit when Weber got going. We did a good job making things difficult for her in the first half, but our effort and focus lacked in the second half and she took advantage of that. She’s a solid player!
“It was great to see freshman Avery Jager get some confidence in the second half and I was proud of her sister Lynsey (junior) for taking on the challenge of guarding Weber on the perimeter. Lynsey typically guards post players but she hung with Weber on the arc pretty well.
It was great to see Makala Goddard bounce back from her serious knee injury and pace us in scoring.”