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Girls basketball: Rosemount still chasing fifth in SSC

The Rosemount girls basketball team can still finish in the top half of the South Suburban Conference after coming away with a split last week.

The Irish held on to beat Eagan 60-57 last Tuesday before falling 71-53 to Lakeville North last Thursday. At 5-9, the Irish are tied with Eagan for sixth and just a game behind fifth-place Prior Lake with games against the Lakers and the three bottom teams in the league coming up over the next week.

Last Thursday’s game started well as Rosemount jumped out to an 11-0 lead on its home court, but North chipped away and moved in front 32-26 by halftime. The Panthers then opened up their lead with a 12-3 run to start the second half.

“We came out and played with outstanding energy and passion,” Rosemount coach Chris Orr said. “Lakeville North is a well oiled machine and they're very deep and can be a match-up nightmare at times because you cannot focus on one or even two players. To our girls’ credit we battled all night and once again it was the same story of a lapse here and there.”

Hannah Grim and Maddy Olson each supplied 11 points and five rebounds for the Irish. Liz Evenocheck added 10 points and Kaylie Hanson had seven points, four rebounds and four assists.

The Irish also started fast at Eagan, pulling ahead 31-19 by the break.

“The first half we did an excellent job of moving the ball on offense and making the extra pass when needed,” Orr said. “We also did an outstanding job of defending all of their ball screens and executed our game plan very well.”

The Wildcats pulled back even at 43-43 with 8:21 to go and inched ahead 56-53 with a pair of free throws in the final two minutes.

Grim responded by scoring baskets on the Irish’s next two trips down the floor, the second one tying the game at 57-57 with 33 seconds left. After an Olson steal, Grim made a free throw to make it 58-57 with 11 seconds to go.

After another defensive stop, Hanson buried a couple of free throws to seal the win and complete a season sweep of the Wildcats.

Grim finished with 23 points and five rebounds. Hanson, Evenocheck and Sam Caruth notched eight points apiece and Ellie Vraa had five points and five boards.

The Irish (9-12, 5-9) are back at home tomorrow night when they host Apple Valley. It’s RAAA In-House Night and all first through sixth grade players who wear their jersey get free admission.