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Boys basketball: No. 10 Raiders oust Rosemount, 68-48

The Rosemount boys basketball team only shot 40 percent in its 57-55 overtime win over Cretin-Derham Hall back in late December.

The Irish hit on 42 percent of their shots in last Wednesday's Section 3AAAA tournament rematch with the Raiders, but got a very different result. Cretin-Derham Hall grabbed the early momentum by forcing many of Rosemount's 18 turnovers in the first half, and then pulled away thanks to a barrage of 11 three-pointers in a 68-48 victory in St. Paul.

"The biggest difference between the first meeting and the second meeting was the turnovers. It led to too many good looks for them and it didn't allow us to get the shots we needed," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said. "We played poorly, but you have to give Cretin-Derham Hall credit because they shot the ball very well."

Rosemount trailed 27-18 by halftime, and then closed the gap to five points early in the second half before the tenth-ranked (Class 4A) Raiders pulled away for their 13th win in 15 games.

The Irish finished the season going in the opposite direction. After an early-season six-game winning streak upped their record to 6-2, they struggled against South Suburban Conference competition and quickly slipped to 7-7. Wins over Burnsville and Bloomington Jefferson got the Irish to 9-9 in early February before they finished the season losing seven of their final nine games.

"We struggled to get over the hump in conference play and couldn't pull out some of the close ones that we needed to win," said Schnettler, whose team lost to Prior Lake, Lakeville South, Eagan and Eastview by a combined 15 points during a two-week stretch in February.

Senior forward Brandon Forcier led the Irish with 15 points on 7 of 8 shooting in his final game. Senior Matt Nelson added 10 points and six rebounds, capping off a season where he led the team with an average of over 16 points per game.

Other Irish seniors were Charlie Broback, Micah Marshall, Keijuan Brown, Jordan Tumilson and Tyler Liermann.

"All seven of our seniors played a huge rule for us this season. They were all great to be around every day and we are going to miss them," Schnettler said. "They were great role models for our younger players and they had some very special moments during the four seasons at Rosemount. I truly believe that they will all go on to do very good things after they graduate this spring and I look forward to staying in touch and continuing to follow their success."