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Girls basketball: Upset bid falls short at North

Rosemount Girls' Basketball

The Rosemount girls' basketball team continued to show signs of progress while putting a scare into fourth-ranked Lakeville North Friday night.

The Irish made clutch shots throughout the game to stay within striking distance, but couldn't get several potential go-ahead shots to fall in the final minute as the 18-2 Panthers escaped 48-46.

"The girls absolutely played their hearts out," Rosemount coach Chris Orr said. "Hopefully this even further builds our confidence that we can play with everyone and anyone ... Our goal for the last three weeks has been to get better so come March 1, our first round of sections, we are playing our best, and even though we lost, we made a huge step in that direction."

Several players stepped up to make big contributions against the Panthers. Nicole Elias made 8-of-10 shots from the floor on her way to a season-high 18 points. Katie Essen scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out four assists. Alyssa Derby drained three 3-pointers for nine points.

The Irish opened the week with back-to-back games against Eagan. They pulled away late for a 58-45 win last Tuesday at Irish Gym, and made the necessary adjustments to post a 54-28 rout two days later in Eagan.

The Wildcats shot 48 percent from the floor in the first meeting before being held to 28 percent shooting in the rematch.

"We really came out and asserted ourselves on the defensive end of the court. We changed a few things up from Tuesday's game on the defensive end and the girls did an absolutely fantastic job of executing the gameplan," Orr said.

Maddy Olson paced the Irish with 17 points last Thursday. Lindsey Jalivay knocked down a pair of 3-pointers while scoring eight points, and Essen added six points and six rebounds. Derby made a pair of 3-pointers and dished out four assists.

In last Tuesday's meeting, Olson dropped in a game-high 23 points and handed out five assists. Derby scored 10 and Elias chipped in with eight points and six rebounds. Essen hauled in a team-high eight boards.

"To Eagan's credit, they came out firing and had a little more sense of urgency at the start of the game and hit some shots that gave them some confidence," Orr said. "I was happy though with how we handled a little adversity at the beginning of the game."

The Irish (11-9) were back on the hardwood Tuesday at Burnsville. They travel to Apple Valley Friday, Feb. 10, to take on the Eagles.