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Boys basketball: Irish own the paint

It had been nearly two years since Rosemount's boys basketball team held an opponent under 40 points.

The combination of a patient Shakopee offense and a defense that kept the ball out of the paint allowed the Irish to get past Shakopee 47-37 in a non-conference road game last Tuesday. Three days later, the winless Sabers stepped back onto their home court and upset No. 6-ranked (Class 3A) Waconia, 65-58.

"We did a very nice job protecting the paint and forcing them to shoot from the outside," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said. "We didn't force as many turnovers as we would have liked, but you can't complain too much when you only give up 37 points."

Six-foot-eight senior Matt Nelson accounted for much of that inside presence. He blocked six shots and altered several others while also scoring a game-high 15 points and grabbing a team-best eight rebounds.

Jordan Tumilson added seven points, Brandon Forcier and Garrett Goetz each scored six and Cole Northwick chipped in five. Nelson, Tumilson and Northwick each knocked down a three-pointer.

The Irish led 19-10 at the half and pulled ahead by as many as 18 before the Sabers started to chip away.

Rosemount, now 2-2 overall, continued its schedule with a road game at Woodbury Tuesday night. The team is back in action tonight when it hosts 10th-ranked (Class 4A) Cretin-Derham Hall.

"We are continuing to improve and we are looking forward to a big week," Schnettler said. "It should be a great opportunity for us to see where we are as a team."