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Girls basketball: Free throws seal fate in one-point loss to Kennedy

When Rosemount girls basketball coach Sam McDonald addresses his team following another close loss, the words are meant to inspire and soothe the disappointed players.

It's a talk McDonald has had to make too often this season. It's a talk that never gets any easier.

"I tell the girls I feel for them in these situations," McDonald said. "The reward is the 'W' and as well as they're playing we're just coming up a bit short against some very good teams. We keep our heads about us. We're building toward the final week, this stretch and hoping we can get rolling into sections and maintain that level of play."

McDonald had to make his too-often postgame comments following a 61-60 loss against Bloomington Kennedy and a 66-55 loss to No. 9 Eastview last week.

McDonald hopes his team can get the reward for its hard work when they finished the regular season tomorrow at Burnsville.

While the wins haven't always been there the past two weeks, McDonald feels his Irish are playing better.

"We're on the cliff of about four games here where we're playing really, really well but we've taken a couple of one-point losses and a close game that Eastview stretched out late," McDonald said. "We're playing good basketball. We're playing the upper four teams of the conference during that stretch. It's tough to get wins when you're playing those teams up there."

The Irish (9-15, 4-12 South Suburban) trailed 30-23 at halftime against Eastview but closed the gap to one point in the second half. Rosemount was within three late but could never overcome the deficit.

Elaine Warner had 14 points and six rebounds.

Lindy Park scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds.

Rachel Hoeppner and Hannah Grim each scored 10 points.

It was another close game against Bloomington Kennedy, but Rosemount fell short in the one-point loss.

Warner had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Rachel Hoeppner scored 19 points.

McDonald understands one reason the Irish fell short. Rosemount shot 8 of 20 from the free-throw line.

"We didn't execute down the stretch on a couple of plays, and free throws were 8 for 20 in a one-point loss, that tells you a lot," McDonald said. "We played very well, just came up short."