The Hopkins girls basketball team played in a battle of two of the top schools in the nation on Friday afternoon but the high-profile matchup didn't go in the Royals' favor as they fell to Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.) 67-55.
The semifinal for the National Invitational Tournament was a big draw as it featured the third-ranked Royals and the top-ranked Quakers. With ESPN broadcasting the game nationally, it was a fitting platform for a game featuring several top recruits.
One of those recruits was Sidwell Friend's Kiki Rice. The second-ranked recruit in the Class of 2022 showcased her playmaking ability, pushing the pace to test the Royals early.
But Hopkins was up to the challenge thanks to Gophers commit Amaya Battle. The 39th-ranked recruit in this year's class helped keep up with the Quakers and led them to an early 18-14 lead.
But when things slowed down, the Quakers were able to hold Maya Nnaji in check. The Arizona commit scored just two points in the first half and Sidwell Friends went into halftime with a 38-32 lead.
The Quakers took control in the second half by building a 12-point lead but Hopkins responded with a 6-0 run that cut the deficit in half. But with the Royals unable to get their stars going, Sidwell Friends picked the tempo and handed Hopkins their second loss in their past 92 games.
The Royals will now play in the third-place game on Saturday against the loser of Friday night's matchup between Grandview (Colo.), which features Lauren Betts, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2022, against No. 2 ranked DeSoto (Texas).