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Girls basketball: Big or small, Irish find ways to win

It was two games and two very different kinds of wins for the Rosemount girls basketball team last weekend in St. Cloud.

The Irish needed overtime to pull out a 76-70 win over Woodbury in their first game at the St. Cloud Tech tournament Dec. 27. The next day they turned up the defense and beat Rocori by nearly 30, 66-38.

The Irish turned around a trend of finishing on the wrong side of close games in the exciting, back-and-forth win over Woodbury.

“It’s one we have been battling for, for a long time,” coach Chris Orr said. “We have been on the other side far too many times and the girls were excited to finally get over the hump and finish the game with a W.”

Neither team was able to take a big lead in the game. Rosemount led 33-30 at the end of the first half and trailed by six late in the second.

“(We) really buckled down on defense and got some stops and made some great plays on offense,” Orr said.

The Irish tied the game with 14 seconds to play and had a chance to win at the end of regulation but missed a shot at the buzzer. Rosemount outscored the Royals 12-6 in overtime to earn the win.

Senior Hannah Grim struggled to score in the first half but found her shot in the second and led the way for the Irish with 28 points against Woodbury. Orr said she also did a good job getting to the rim and setting up teammates for open shots. Kelly McMenomy had 13 points and Kaylie Hanson had 11.

Rosemount was without varsity regular Maddy Olson, who missed both games after coming down with a virus.

“Laura Swanson came in in the first half and gave us huge minutes, including a big three towards the end of the half to give us a little momentum heading into halftime,” Orr said.

There was a lot less drama Saturday against Rocori. Rosemount only scored 18 points in the second half, but they could have gone scoreless and still won after scoring 48 points in the first and holding Rocori to just 22. Rocori scored just 16 points in the second half.

“Our defense was key in this one as we were able to cause a lot of turnovers off our press and half-court man-to-man defense,” Orr said. “Hannah Grim was very active on defense, getting eight steals and finishing with 28 points in the first half.”

Grim had more than half of Rosemount’s points with 34 for the game. Hanson had nine points, all on three pointers. Liz Evenocheck had seven points and nine rebounds, including seven in the first half.

Orr said building a big lead in the first half allowed the Irish to work on some new things and play a lot of players in the second half.

Rosemount’s two wins improved the team’s record to 4-4 on the season.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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