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Girls basketball: Grim, Dennis, Hanson lead Irish to tourney title

The Rosemount girls basketball team continued to build confidence for the upcoming South Suburban Conference season while handling two unfamiliar foes at the Grand Rapids Invitational.

The Irish pulled away for a 57-47 victory over host Grand Rapids last Thursday, then overcame a slow start to throttle Duluth Denfeld 68-47 in the championship game of the four-team tournament Friday.

"I'm very happy with how we're playing. We have a good sense of purpose and toughness that has kind of built up over the first few games," said Rosemount coach Sam McDonald, whose team took a 6-4 mark into Tuesday's conference opener at Bloomington Jefferson. "We started out kind of slow and have done a nice job growing and learning to take care of the basketball, knock down free throws at the end of games and play good, aggressive defense."

Sophomore guard Hannah Grim and senior post player Laura Dennis were named all-tournament for the Irish. Each made big contributions in the opener against Grand Rapids as Grim scored a game-high 26 points and Dennis snagged 16 rebounds, scored seven points and played shut-down defense against Grand Rapids' biggest post player.

Grand Rapids led 29-28 at the half and pulled ahead by six before the Irish mounted a rally.

"It was a hard-fought battle until late when we pulled away," McDonald said. "We kept it together and made a nice comeback."

Megan Schuster added eight points and four rebounds and Sidney Newton scored six points. Ellie Vraa grabbed seven rebounds and Grim and Kayle Hanson each handed out four assists.

The Irish trailed 8-0 before rallying to take a commanding 41-25 advantage by halftime against Duluth Denfeld.

Hanson emerged to lead the charge with a season-high 20 points. She knocked down three three-pointers, grabbed four rebounds and handed out four assists.

"We know she has that ability. She came out very, very aggressive," McDonald said. "When she shoots well and takes it to the basket strong she can be a good scorer for us."

Grim added 16 points and Dennis scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Hannah Halterman added eight points.

The Irish make their conference home debut tomorrow night when Prior Lake visits Irish Gym.