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Girls basketball: Offense clicks at Grand Rapids Invitational

The Rosemount girls basketball team produced its two highest-scoring games of the year in winning its third straight title at the Grand Rapids Invitational last week.

The Irish opened the tournament last Thursday night by routing host Grand Rapids, 79-54. They started slowly in Friday's championship game against Duluth Denfeld, but overcame a 28-23 halftime deficit to score a 64-59 win.

The team shot 52 percent from the field, handed out a season-high 21 assists and had just 11 turnovers against a Grand Rapids team that entered with a record of 6-1.

Hannah Grim paced a balanced offense with 17 points and teammate Kalley McMenomy was right behind with 16. Hannah Halterman joined them in double figures with 10 points, Liz Evenocheck came off the bench to score nine points and Ellie Vraa and Meghan Schuster each chipped in with eight.

McMenomy led the team with seven rebounds and Grim and Vraa combined for 11 steals.

"We came out on fire and executed both offensively and defensively the best we have all year," Rosemount coach Chris Orr said. "It was a lot of fun to watch and see everything we have stressed and worked on in practice all click at once in a game."

Things didn't go so smoothly the next day against Duluth Denfeld.

"As good as we played on Thursday, we played that poorly for the majority of the game on Friday. We played down to their level and to their credit they were very disciplined and played very hard," Orr said. "We were just not ready to play and were very flat. It was very frustrating considering how well we played less than 24 hours before that."

Despite the bad half, the Irish were able to use another balanced attack to get back into the game. Six players scored at least seven points, led by 13 apiece from Grim and Schuster. Schuster also snagged a game-high 13 rebounds.

Vraa added 11 points, Halterman and Kaylie Hanson each scored eight and McMenomy supplied seven points and eight boards.

The Irish (5-6) resume their South Suburban Conference schedule by playing two of the state's top teams in the next five days. They travel to Bloomington to face third-ranked (Class 4A) Kennedy tomorrow night and head over to Apple Valley to take on second-ranked (Class 4A) Eastview on Tuesday.

"Our next two games will give us great opportunities to see where we are at in not only our conference, but in the state," Orr said.