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Boys basketball: Irish top Jaguars

Rosemount senior Matt Nelson goes up for two of his nine points during last Tuesday's 81-58 home loss to sixth-ranked Apple Valley.

Sixth-ranked (Class 4A) Apple Valley knocked Rosemount below .500, but the Irish didn't stay there long.

Coach Bryan Schnettler's team bounced back from an 81-58 loss to a talented Eagles team by surging to a 64-58 South Suburban Conference road win Friday night at Bloomington Jefferson. The Irish take a 9-9 record into this week's games against Prior Lake and Lakeville South.

Rosemount led 27-22 at the break, then pulled ahead by as many as 15 points despite the 5-12 Jaguars knocking down seven three-pointers and shooting 52 percent from the field.

"It was a great win for our guys and we had a lot of guys contribute," Schnettler said. "We played a great stretch of basketball at the beginning of the second half. They got hot from three and kept the game close, but we never let them back within six."

Post player Brandon Forcier scored all of his team-high 15 points in a second half where the Irish outscored the home team, 37-36. Fellow post player Matt Nelson added 14 points and a team-best eight rebounds and Cole Northwick swished a pair of threes en route to nine points.

Garrett Goetz chipped in seven points and five assists and Charlie Broback added seven points.

The Irish shot a sizzling 58 percent from the floor in the contest, including 62 percent from two-point range. They also converted on 12 of 16 free throws.

Points weren't so easy to come by -- especially in the paint -- when the Irish played host to Apple Valley in front of a packed house at Irish Gym.

The Irish made 10 three-pointers, but made just 11 twos on 33 percent shooting and got to the line just nine times as the Eagles improved to 14-3.

Northwick drilled a season-high six three-pointers as he paced the Irish with 20 points. Nelson tallied nine points and grabbed seven rebounds, Broback notched eight points and Forcier seven.

Rosemount led 17-13 seven-plus minutes into the game after a sequence of three possessions that resulted in a pair of Northwick treys and an alley-oop dunk by Nelson. Apple Valley soon tied the score at 19-19 and took a 36-29 lead by halftime.

"We played well for the first 15 minutes and then we let them get out and get easy buckets in transition. We did not do a very good job of getting back on defense," Schnettler said. "We did not finish very strong in the paint and those misses led to easy buckets for them. They are a very talented team, but I think our boys would say they did not play their best game."