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Basketball: Irish breeze by North St. Paul

Rosemount finally got a chance to take its foot off the gas a little bit on Saturday afternoon.

Thirteen players saw court time and the Irish led from start to finish while coasting to a 78-49 rout at North St. Paul. The previous night, the Irish had to overcome a 14-point second-half deficit to thwart Lakeville South’s upset attempt and earlier in the week the Irish let a second-half lead slip away in a league setback at Prior Lake.

Nine players scored on Saturday, led by Garrett Goetz with 14 points. Goetz made three three-pointers and contributed eight assists and five rebounds. Cole Northwick added three trifectas of his own and finished with 13 points, Logan Halvorson scored 11 points and grabbed six boards and Matt Stephenson tacked on 10 points.

Jack Kessler added eight points and Tyler Hartigan and Kyle Kaupa had seven apiece.

The Irish (6-2) shot 52 percent from the field and made 10 of 18 three-pointers.

Lakeville South carried a 46-37 lead into halftime Friday night at Irish Gym and stretched it to as many as 14 points before the home team rallied.

“We played very poorly on defense in the first half and we stepped up big on defense in the second half and it got us the win,” Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said. “A lot of guys stepped up big for us in the second half.”

The Irish outscored the Cougars 46-26 over the final 18 minutes to grab an 83-72 South Suburban Conference win.

Goetz and Stephenson accounted for nearly half of those, combining for 40 points. Goetz knocked down three three-pointers en route to 22 points and Stephenson made 10 of 12 free throws while putting up 18.

Northwick drilled four more three-pointers on his way to 14 points and Halvorson contributed a solid all-around game with 12 points, seven assists and four rebounds.

Kessler and Hartigan each tacked on six points.

Last Tuesday the Irish were the visiting team that couldn’t hold on to a second-half lead. They took a 31-27 lead into halftime and moved ahead by as many as 12 before Prior Lake rallied to win, 64-61.

“We struggled to make shots for a long stretch,” Schnettler said. “We had chances to win the game, but we didn’t play well enough to finish it off.”

Northwick helped the Irish stay in the game with five three-pointers and finished with a team-high 19 points. Stephenson was right behind with 18 points and six rebound and Goetz had 10 points, six assists and five boards.

Kaupa grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and scored seven points.

The Irish are back on the hardwood this weekend at St. Thomas University. The four-team holiday tournament also features Holy Angels, Hill-Murray and Cretin-Derham Hall.