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Boys basketball: Second-half slide continues

Shooting and taking care of the ball continued to plague the Rosemount boys basketball team Friday night.

Throw in some difficulties rebounding against a big, athletic Lakeville North team and the fifth-ranked Panthers had little trouble pulling away for their sixth straight victory, 75-51 in Lakeville.

“We played good initial defense for the majority of the night, but we really struggled on the boards and we gave them way too many second chance points,” Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said.

The lone bright spot for the Irish, who lost for the eighth time in 10 games, was a portion of the second half where they ended up being outscored 30-24.

“We had a 12-minute stretch in the second half where we played with the intensity level and competitiveness that we were at the beginning of the season,” Schnettler said. “We will need to compete at this level the last week of the regular season and in sections in order to make some noise.”

Tyler Hartigan led the visitors with 10 points and four rebounds. Cole Northwick and Matt Stephenson each tacked on nine points and Logan Halvorson had eight points and four steals.

The Irish shot 38 percent — including just 3 of 18 from three — and turned the ball over 18 times.

Things didn’t go much better in last Tuesday’s home finale against Eagan. The Irish shot 42 percent and turned the ball over 15 times in a 55-48 setback at Irish Gym.

“This was a slow paced game that could have gone either way. Eagan made more plays than we did down the stretch. We did a solid job on the defensive end, but struggled on the boards,” Schnettler said. “We had way too many turnovers and did not finish enough shots to be very efficient on offense.”

Northwick nailed five three-pointers and finished with a team-high 21 points. Stephenson was next in line with nine points. Northwick, Stephenson and Kyle Liermann each tallied four rebounds.

The Irish (13-11) played at Burnsville Tuesday night and close out the regular season tomorrow night on the road at No. 1-ranked Apple Valley. The Eagles (23-1) sit comfortably in first and the Irish could fall anywhere from fourth to sixth in the seeding for Section 3AAAA tournament, which gets under way next week.