Girls basketball: Cottage Grove knocks Irish from Sections
Another slow start and continued rebounding struggles made for a tough night for Rosemount last Wednesday in the opening round of the Section 3AAAA basketball tournament.
The Irish fell behind 13-0 out of the gate, and gave up five baskets on five offensive rebounds, as 10th-ranked Park of Cottage Grove pulled away for a 70-43 victory. The Wolfpack went on to defeat Apple Valley and face No. 2-ranked Eastview in tonight's section finals.
"On the defensive side our initial defense was great. However, it was the same story as all year where we just couldn't get rebounds," Rosemount coach Chris Orr said. "Offensively, we got great looks the entire game; we just couldn't make anything or get the consecutive stops that we needed."
The Irish made their biggest run of the game midway through the first half when they closed to within 29-19, but the Wolfpack responded with a 10-point run of their own to take a 39-19 advantage into the half.
The Irish closed to within 13 points in the second half, but could get no closer.
"Throughout the game our energy and effort was outstanding. It was a very physical game and we kept after it for the entire 36 minutes," Orr said.
Hannah Grim led the visitors with 24 points. Senior Kaitlen Heitkamp added seven points in her final career game and another senior, Meghan Schuster, led the team with six rebounds.
The Irish's 12th straight setback ended the careers of four seniors: Heitkamp, Schuster, Sydney Newton and Hannah Halterman, who had to leave the game against Park with a concussion after taking a charge.
"It can be a very difficult situation when a new coaching staff comes in your senior year and basically changes and starts from scratch in every aspect," Orr said. "They never quit and continued to work hard every day and be great leaders for our youth.... They started to lay the foundation for our success in the future."