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Boys basketball: Upset bid falls short

A Rosemount player pushes to net.

Rosemount put a scare into No. 1-ranked (Class 4A) Eastview Friday night.

The Irish played their most efficient game of the season, turning the ball over a season-low seven times, in a 51-46 loss to the 21-1 Lightning in front of a big crowd at Irish Gym.

"We played more focused and with more passion than we have all year long," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said. "We missed some good looks in the second half.... We have four games left and we need to play with that effort and energy from now on. I think we proved to ourselves what we are capable of and I know our boys would love another shot at playing Eastview at some point in sections."

The Irish shot 40 percent from the field, but got just eight second chances on offensive rebounds and got to the free-throw line just four times against the athletic Lightning.

Senior Matt Nelson finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. Brandon Forcier dropped in 11 points and handed out four assists and Cole Northwick knocked down three three-pointers and finished with nine points.

The Irish played what Schnettler considered their best offensive game of the year last Tuesday against Bloomington Kennedy.

Northwick connected for five of the team's nine three-pointers and the Irish made 27 of 31 shots from the free-throw line in a 74-65 home victory. It was the most the team has scored in a game since last February against Apple Valley.

Nelson was a perfect 14-for-14 at the free-throw line and finished with a team-high 22 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots. Forcier added a double-double of his own with 14 points and 13 rebounds and Northwick scored 20 points.

Point guard Garrett Goetz tacked on seven points and five assists.

The Irish (10-12) hosted Eagan Tuesday and are on the road tomorrow night at Burnsville. Tip-off is at 7:15.