Girls basketball: McDonald says team is showing progress
Since scoring six points in the second half of a 50-point loss to Edina on Nov. 29, the Rosemount girls basketball team has started to turn things around.
The Irish followed up that debacle by beating Farmington and Tartan and putting forth what head coach Sam McDonald called a "much, much better effort" in a 24-point loss to fourth-ranked Lakeville North. The team continued to improve while splitting games last week as it beat Apple Valley 65-57 in overtime and played a talented Park of Cottage Grove team even for about a half before falling on the road, 73-43.
"The second half at Edina was a monumental struggle. It was very difficult for the players and the coaches," McDonald said. "Ever since then we've played stronger and the two games last week continued that."
The Irish saw a four-point lead disappear in the final two minutes against Apple Valley last Tuesday at Irish Gym, but recovered by outscoring the Eagles 11-3 in overtime. The run featured a big opening basket from sophomore guard Hannah Grim and four clutch free throws by senior post player Laura Dennis that sealed the game.
"It's difficult when another team makes a comeback late to get yourselves back together and right the ship," said McDonald, whose team ended Apple Valley's three-game winning streak. "I was really impressed that we refocused ourselves and made some nice plays in overtime."
Grim finished with a game-high 21 points. Meghan Schuster scored a season-high 12 points and Kaylie Hanson added a season-high 11 points.
Park 73, Rosemount 43
The Irish managed to hang within 35-32 of Park of Cottage Grove late into the first half of Thursday night's non-conference game. That's when an invisible lid seemed to cover the visiting team's basket.
Rosemount managed just 11 points in the second half as the Wolfpack pulled away for their sixth straight win, 73-43.
"We played a really good first half. Park is one of the top teams in our section and we played them really tough," McDonald said. "After halftime they came out and hit a three and before we blinked we were down 15 points. They deserve all the credit for coming out and playing at another level that we couldn't match."
Grim paced the Irish with 14 points. Hanson added 10 points and Hannah Halterman and Sydney Newton tallied six apiece.
Rosemount (4-4)?is back in action today in a tournament at Grand Rapids.