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Heartbreaking loss for Irish girls basketball

Shaye Barton’s heroics ended Rosemount’s regular season on a sour note Friday night.

The Prior Lake point guard’s overhanded heave sailed from the opposite free-throw line, high through the air, off the backboard and through the hoop as the buzzer sounded at Irish Gym, lifting the Lakers to a dramatic 68-67 victory over Rosemount in the battle for fifth place in the South Suburban Conference.

The 75-foot heave lifted the Lakers to 9-9 in the league and left Rosemount 8-10 and 13-13 overall, which meant a No. 5 seed for the Irish and a first-round Section 3AAAA playoff game at No. 4 East Ridge Wednesday night.

“Heartbreaker, plain and simple. I have never been a part of such a devastating and heartbreaking loss before,” Rosemount coach Chris Orr said. “I never experienced nor am I sure anyone in that gym that night had ever experienced the highs and lows of the emotional roller coaster that we all experienced. I was speechless and stunned. It was a heck of a shot, a definite Sportscenter top 10.”

Seconds earlier, the Irish had scored on their third straight possession and taken the lead when Hannah Grim found Kalley McMenomy for the go-ahead basket with two seconds left.

“It was a perfect way to end Senior Night! Then ‘The Shot.’ We told our girls we wanted to force all the action in front of us and force them to catch the ball in front of us and nothing over the top,” Orr said. “We did that and then their point guard caught the ball, took one dribble inside our free-throw line and overhand threw it the length of the court and banked it in.”

Grim led the Irish with 24 points and five assists. Liz Evenocheck and McMenomy added 12 points and seven rebounds apiece.

Three days earlier, the Irish traveled to Bloomington and built a 17-point halftime lead while completing a season sweep of Jefferson with a 75-66 win.

Grim exploded for 34 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out four assists. Evenocheck had eight points and nine rebounds, Ellie Vraa scored seven and grabbed five boards and Maddy Olson, Sam Caruth and McMenomy each contributed six points to a balanced attack.

“We came out of the gates storming and really took it to them early with our full court pressure man-to-man defense,” Orr said. “The girls didn't want a repeat of last year where we beat them pretty good at our place and then Jefferson stole one from us at their place. We were focused from the start and did a great job of executing our game plan.”

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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