Girls basketball: Losses leave Irish as No. 6 seed in section tourney
The Rosemount girls basketball team had lost two games in a row and six of seven heading into last week, but coach Sam McDonald was pleased with the team's play and felt the Irish were trending in the right direction.
With two games on the schedule last week, Rosemount had the chance to peak for the section playoffs.
McDonald had shared with his team the importance of games against Eagan and Burnsville, but the Irish lost 66-57 at home against Eagan and ended the regular season with a 60-51 loss at Burnsville.
"Leading up to them, I thought we were building toward those two games a little bit," McDonald said. "More or less, we were playing well and weren't being rewarded with wins. It was just kind of a tough couple of games. We didn't play to the level to which we had been playing leading up to those two. In the end, it probably cost us a spot. We could have been the fifth seed, but we're sixth. It didn't kill us in seeding, but it certainly cost us a little bit."
Rosemount (9-17, 4-14 South Suburban) was named the No. 6 seed in the Class 4A, Section 3 tournament, which began yesterday. The Irish opened against No. 3 seed Apple Valley in a game at Eastview.
Results were not available at press time. Go to www.rosemounttownpages.com to seed if the Irish advanced to the second round at St. Olaf College on Saturday, March 5.
The two teams split their South Suburban Conference meetings. Rosemount won at Apple Valley, 80-64, in December, with the Eagles taking the second game, 70-65, at Rosemount on Feb. 1.
"I thought we got what we deserved as the sixth seed and we're playing a deserved three seed in Apple Valley," McDonald said. "We split with them this season, so I think we feel we have a chance, for sure. I'm sure they believe the same thing themselves."
The Irish will need a more complete performance than they put together in the regular season's final week.
Rosemount was tied with Burnsville at halftime, but was outplayed in the second half of the finale.
Elaine Warner scored 17 points and had six rebounds. Rachel Hoeppner had 15 points and hit three 3-pointers. Brooke Stevens had eight points and six steals.
"Burnsville really came out and executed in the second half," McDonald said. "Those were a couple of games that we needed for seeding if we were going to make a move in the section seeding. We didn't get them. They did."
The Irish led 43-27 at halftime against Eagan in the final home game of the season, but again couldn't maintain the pace in the second half.
Warner had 21 points and nine rebounds. Hoeppner scored 11 points.
"We played really well in the first half against Eagan but didn't play with the same intensity in the second half and Eagan came out ready after halftime," McDonald said. "As much as those games meant, it was a little disappointing, and I think the team was disappointed with second half of those games."