Girls basketball: Defense suffers letdown in loss to JeffersonRosemount girls basketball coach Sam McDonald is a big believer in the importance of defense. When the Irish defense was struggling in January, so was the team.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
Rosemount girls basketball coach Sam McDonald is a big believer in the importance of defense.
When the Irish defense was struggling in January, so was the team.
Last week, against Bloomington Kennedy and Park, Rosemount played strong defense and played well. On Monday, the defense again let the Irish down in a loss to Bloomington Jefferson.
While the team’s shooting has been inconsistent as well, McDonald still sticks by an old philosophy and the recent games have certainly proven the belief true.
“It’s the old adage, the defense will be with us in every game,” McDonald said. “It certainly helped against Kennedy and Park. Whether the shooting is there or not, we need the defense to keep us in games. In those games in particular the shooting was with us, but it started with the defense. In the Jefferson game, we struggled and our defense just wasn’t very good. We can hang in there even if we aren’t shooting well if the defense is up to par. It’s definitely the building block and everything goes from there.”
With that understanding, McDonald was pleased with the Irish’s effort in a 72-71 loss against No. 6 Bloomington Kennedy. Two days later, Rosemount again put it all together beating section opponent Park 65-54. On Monday, the Irish took a 55-48 loss at Bloomington Jefferson.
“We’re plugging away,” McDonald said. “The girls are doing a good job with their attitude. They are staying with it and working through it.”
Rosemount has seen its share of close games this season. Some wins went to the other side, while the Irish got a last-second win against Chaska.
Kennedy earned the last-second win last week. The Eagles scored with about three seconds remaining and the Irish were unable to get much of a look at the last shot.
“We obviously thought we played very, very well,” McDonald said. “We just didn’t come up with the victory on that one. It comes down to the defensive end. I thought we played pretty good defense and shot the ball well against a very good team.”
Elaine Warner scored 23 points against Kennedy. Rachel Hoeppner added 18 points and Abbie Bauernfiend scored 11. Micaella Petrich passed out six assists and had three steals.
Rosemount got a bit of a breather against Park with the rare midseason non-conference game. The Lake Conference has been extremely tough, but the Irish continued their strong play outside of the conference.
“Sure, we’ll take anything at this stage,” McDonald said.
Hoeppner had 19 points. Warner had 12 points and 12 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards. Petrich had 12 points and nine assists.
Then the disappointment sunk in again. A slow start hurt the Irish against Jefferson.
“We just didn’t play well,” McDonald said. “It may have been our poorest game of the year. We didn’t shoot well. We talked after the game about how we didn’t play very good defense. And then we turned the ball over a lot. When we struggle that much in that many areas like we did, we are going to struggle to win. Any team would struggle to win.”
Hoeppner and Sara Feeser each scored 13 points to lead Rosemount.