Girls basketball: Stevens, Dennis lead tournament runAfter the Rosemount girls basketball team lost 66-30 at No. 3 ranked Lakeville North, Irish coach Sam McDonald jokingly asked if he had to talk about the game. He didn’t want to dwell on the disappointment. McDonald did summarize the game afterward, but he was hoping to put the loss in the past as quick as possible. It appears his team followed suit.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
After the Rosemount girls basketball team lost 66-30 at No. 3 ranked Lakeville North, Irish coach Sam McDonald jokingly asked if he had to talk about the game. He didn’t want to dwell on the disappointment.
McDonald did summarize the game afterward, but he was hoping to put the loss in the past as quick as possible.
It appears his team followed suit.
Rosemount has won three straight games after winning the Grand Rapids holiday tournament last week.
“They have,” McDonald said. “That was a difficult game against North. There’s the old adage, but I don’t know how much we learned. It’s how much you learn, or it’s forgetting everything about it and moving forward. I think it’s been more of the second. We did not play well. North did play very well. We moved forward. We knew we needed to show up and play. We talked about it after, about showing up and performing more to our potential every game. I think we’ve done that the last three games.”
The Irish (6-4, 1-1 South Suburban) beat Duluth Central 70-57 in the first game and added a 56-53 win against host Grand Rapids in the championship game. Brooke Stevens and Laura Dennis were named to the all-tournament team.
A win in the finale didn’t appear possible early. Rosemount trailed 22-16 at halftime and had trouble stopping Grand Rapids’ leading scorer. She scored 18 of her team’s first 22 points and led McDonald to challenge his team at halftime.
“She was scoring at will,” McDonald said. “The frustrating part of what they were doing is we had set up to try and stop that. I challenged them at halftime that not only did we need to play and work hard, which we were doing. We were giving effort. We had to play within the game plan and know what we were doing.”
Rachel Hoeppner took the challenge to heart and applied the pressure on Grand Rapids’ leading scorer in the second half and held her scoreless throughout much of the period. Hoeppner, the Irish’s leading scorer, led the team on the defensive end.
“Her offense wasn’t there and she really stepped up in a different area,” McDonald said. “I was proud of her attention to detail with what we needed.”
Stevens had 13 points, six steals and four assists against Grand Rapids.
Dennis added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. She also had three assists and two blocks.
“Laura Dennis, rebounding-wise, was super in the second half,” McDonald said. “It was an issue in the first half. We were not doing well then we battled back in the second half. Right from get-go we charged at them. At the end of the game Brooke and Laura Bodurtha hit some very big free throws.”
Bodurtha was 6 of 6 from the free-throw line, while scoring nine points.
“I thought it was a very big character moment in that second half,” McDonald said. “We did not play well and had zero momentum at halftime. To play that good in the second half is a good sign of the character of this team.”
Hoeppner scored a team-high 19 points against Duluth Central to go with five assists. Stevens had 14 points and four steals.
“We used our press defense. We got a lot of turnovers and capitalized on the turnovers and built a nice lead.”