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Boys basketball: Irish improve to 10-3 with back-to-back road wins

A road-heavy schedule hasn’t stopped the Rosemount basketball team from getting out to a fast start this winter.

The Irish took the court away from Irish Gym for the 10th time in 13 games last Thursday night in Eagan and improved to 10-3 with a 74-61 victory over the Wildcats. The team has already exceeded its win total from last year when it finished 9-20.

Offensive efficiency has been a trademark of this year’s team. On Thursday, the Irish shot 52 percent from the field, made 11 three-pointers and turned the ball over just three times.

Garrett Goetz led the team with 24 points, including a 13-of-14 effort at the free-throw line. Logan Halvorson drilled four three-pointers and scored 16 points and Cole Northwick made five threes for all 15 of his points.

“We moved the ball very well the whole game and it resulted in us shooting a high percentage from the field and us getting to the free-throw line more than we had the past two games,” Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said. “We were very happy with how the guys played on offense Thursday night.”

The Irish defense also stepped up in the second half, holding Eagan to 27 points after a 34-34 first half.

The Rosemount defense was even better last Tuesday, allowing a season-low 47 points in a 50-47 road win over rival Eastview in Apple Valley.

Matt Stephenson’s free throw gave the Irish a one-point lead with under a minute to go, and after a defensive stop Goetz knocked down a pair from the charity stripe to cement the win.

Goetz finished with a team-leading 17 points and four assists. Halvorson added three three-pointers and 11 points.

The Irish trailed Eastview 26-18 at the break before outscoring the Lightning by 11 over the final 18 minutes.

“We didn’t move the ball as well in the first half as we would have liked and it caused us to shoot poorly,” Schnettler said. “Eastview is a good defensive team and they made it challenging for us the whole game.”

The Irish began a stretch of seven out of nine South Suburban conference home games Tuesday night against Burnsville. They’re back at Irish Gym tomorrow night against second-place Lakeville North.