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Girls basketball: Upping the intensity

The final results show two pretty similar games for the Rosemount girls basketball team last week.

The Irish scored 54 points and shot 31 percent in a home loss to Prior Lake last Tuesday. Then they scored 54 points and shot 31 percent in a road setback at Lakeville South on Friday.

But first-year head coach Chris Orr saw a major difference in the team's energy level in the two games.

"We came out flat and absolutely no energy (against Prior Lake)," Orr said. "It was very frustrating as we haven't really seen that to that extent with this team."

The Lakeville South game was a completely different story.

"It was the exact opposite as Tuesday, we came out with outstanding effort and intensity and it was fun to watch the girls compete and flying around on defense, diving on the floor for loose balls and taking charges," Orr said. "We need to bring that same intensity and passion that we played with every day in practice and games from here on out."

The added aggressiveness helped the Irish get to the free-throw line 27 times against South, compared to 14 trips against Prior Lake. Hannah Grim made all eight of her free throws and knocked down a program record-tying five three-pointers as she broke her own school record with 35 points.

Ellie Vraa added 11 points on 3 of 5 shooting, but the rest of the lineup combined to make 1 of 19 shots.

Kalley McMenomy stepped up in Meghan Schuster's absence to grab a team-high 10 rebounds.

The Irish fell behind 46-22 by halftime at home last Tuesday against Prior Lake. They began the second half with an 18-4 run to cut the deficit to 10, but couldn't get any closer.

Grim finished with 19 points and four steals. Vraa chipped in with eight points and six rebounds and Maddy Olson came off the bench to score nine points.

The Irish (6-14) have lost five in a row and their schedule doesn't get any easier over the next two weeks. They hosted third-ranked Eastview on Tuesday and are back at Irish Gym tomorrow night against No. 1-ranked Bloomington Kennedy, which is riding a 16-game winning streak. Next week the Irish face 12-8 Eagan and 10th-ranked Lakeville North before closing out the regular season with road games at Burnsville and Apple Valley.