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Girls basketball: Cold-shooting Irish manage split

The Rosemount girls basketball team’s shooting matched the weather last week – it was cold.

The Irish shot 30 percent from the field last Monday in the Martin Luther King Day Classic at Simley, but still found a way to salvage a 51-39 win against a Mankato Loyola team that entered with a record of 11-1 against a slate filled with Class 1A opponents.

There was less room for error a day later on the road at Apple Valley. The Irish shot 32 percent from the field and the Eagles took the lead back in the final minute to eke out a 54-50 win.

“We shot very poorly and didn’t capitalize on the turnovers we were able to create with our defense (against Loyola). Good teams find ways to win games when you’re not playing your best and this was one of those games where we didn’t play our best,” Rosemount coach Chris Orr said. “(Against Apple Valley) we struggled from the floor all night, which in basketball the game is very difficult when the ball is not going in the hoop. For the most part we had great looks, it was just one of those nights where everyone was off.”

The Irish overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to tie the score against AppleValley on Ellie Vraa’s basket with 48 seconds left. A couple of turnovers then allowed the Eagles to get the ball back and secure the game at the free-throw line.

Vraa had a breakout game offensively, scoring a team-high 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

“She is really starting to come on and be aggressive on offense and taking it to the rim and not settling for jump shots,” Orr said. “And defensively she’s been fantastic.”

Hannah Grim added 13 points, Liz Evenocheck scored eight and grabbed six rebounds and Kaylie Hanson added seven points.

Maddy Olson handed out a team-high five assists and Kalley McMenomy grabbed eight rebounds.

Grim led the Irish with 14 points, but made just 5 of 30 shots from the field, in last Monday’s win over Loyola.

The Irish pulled away after a 26-26 halftime deadlock, holding Loyola to 13 points in the second half.

Olson helped out the defensive effort with a team-high five steals and also scored 12 points. Vraa chipped in eight points and seven rebounds and Evenocheck had seven points and four assists.

The Irish (7-8) traveled to Prior Lake Tuesday night and are back home tomorrow night when they host Lakeville South at Irish Gym.