Boys basketball: Ranked foes send Irish on skid heading into section
Two of the top teams in the state assured Rosemount would take a losing streak into this week's Section 4AAAA tournament.
The Irish closed out the regular season by falling to Tyus Jones and fifth-ranked Apple Valley 79-58 Friday night at Apple Valley. Three nights earlier, they were dealt a 64-40 setback at second-ranked and South Suburban Conference champion Lakeville North.
The Irish finished with a record of 11-15, earning them the No. 6 seed in the section and a first-round road game Wednesday night at Cretin-Derham Hall. The third-seeded Raiders carry a record of 18-8 and have won 17 of 22 since falling at Rosemount 57-55 on Dec. 22.
Results of the rematch can be found online at rosemounttownpages.com.
"We are feeling very confident going up there as everyone is 0-0 and it is a fresh start for us," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said. "We beat them in December and I know our guys feel like they can do it again."
Rosemount briefly cut a 17-point halftime deficit to eight Friday night before Apple Valley pulled away.
Jones, one of the top sophomores in the nation, matched his season average with 29 points.
The Irish scored just 27 as a team in the first half before coming back with 31 in the second half.
Senior Matt Nelson led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds. Fellow post player Brandon Forcier added 15 points and six boards and Cole Northwick splashed three shots from downtown on his way to 11 points.
Cold shooting led to a season-low 40 points in last Tuesday's loss at Lakeville North. Nelson was the only player to reach double figures with 13 points as the team shot 35 percent from the floor.
Nelson also supplied eight of the team's 17 rebounds.
"Some of our better shooters had off nights and it made it tough for us to compete with a very good North team," Schnettler said. "They are very deep, well coached, and play well as a team. I would expect to see them go deep in the state tourney."