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Boys basketball: Irish ready for homestand after road losses

Playing two teams ahead of it in the conference standings, the Rosemount boys basketball team was looking for its breakthrough last week.

The Irish were coming off a strong effort against conference-leading Lakeville South. Yet, they were also in the midst of a losing streak after dropping an 81-73 game to the Cougars.

Last week against Bloomington Kennedy and Eastview, Rosemount's losing streak reached six games. The Irish were competitive, but coach Bryan Schnettler isn't interested in close losses any longer.

"We've been close all year long," Schnettler said. "It's just whether or not in the last four games and sections if we can get over the hump of being close."

Rosemount (6-16, 3-11South Suburban) lost 73-69 at Bloomington Kennedy and 66-55 at Eastview last week. The Irish close the regular season with three straight home games, beginning with tomorrow's game against Burnsville.

"Three games at home can definitely be a positive," Schnettler said. "The bottom line is it doesn't matter who we're playing or where we're playing, it's about which team can execute. We've been competing and we've been close, but we need to finally get over the hump and execute plays when we need to."

A slow start against Bloomington Kennedy kept Rosemount from getting over the hump.

The Irish trailed 36-24 at halftime. They made it closer with 45 points in the second half.

Matt Nelson scored 15 points to lead the Irish. He added 10 rebounds and four steals.

Andrew Nelson had 13 points and Evan Mitchell scored 12 points.

"We just did not play very well for a stretch of the first half," Schnettler said. "It was because it took us too long to get going."

Rosemount was competitive against rival Eastview, but fell short again to one of the top teams in the conference.

Mitchell led the Irish with 15 points and Matt Nelson tallied 12 points.

The Irish shot 50 percent from the field, but had 20 turnovers.

"We played very hard, but once again it was our Achilles heel, too many turnovers," Schnettler said. "We had 20 turnovers and 12 of them were unforced. It was just us being careless with the ball."

All facets of the Irish game will be needed with just a week left in the regular season.

"I don't know what happens when the lights are on and people are in the stands," Schnettler said. "We need one big win to get over the hump. It's whether or not we step up and get that win."