Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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Sixth-ranked (Class 4A) Apple Valley knocked Rosemount below .500, but the Irish didn't stay there long. Coach Bryan Schnettler's team bounced back from an 81-58 loss to a talented Eagles team by surging to a 64-58 South Suburban Conference road win Friday night at Bloomington Jefferson. The Irish take a 9-9 record into this week's games against Prior Lake and Lakeville South. Rosemount led 27-22 at the break, then pulled ahead by as many as 15 points despite the 5-12 Jaguars knocking down seven three-pointers and shooting 52 percent from the field.
The Rosemount girls basketball team had trouble shaking out of the offensive funk that led to a season-low 24 points two weeks ago at Lakeville North. The Irish opened last week by shooting 29 percent from the field in a 61-46 road loss to an Apple Valley team they had previously beaten by eight points in late December.
The Rosemount gymnastics team posted its best team score of the season last Tuesday. But head coach Jason Passeri knows the Irish can go even higher. "We had two unexpected falls in the bars.... One fall on the beam that counted toward our score and two falls in the vault that counted," he said. "Put all that together and we could be a 140 (point) team. The girls have been improving throughout the season." Instead, the Irish finished with a score of 137.425 that was four-tenths of a point off the pace of Lakeville South's 137.825.
A pair of individual milestones highlighted another undefeated week for the Rosemount wrestling team. Seniors Adam Jackson and Steve Levine each won their 100th career matches, becoming the sixth and seventh wrestlers in program history to reach triple digits. Jackson, the state's second-ranked 152-pounder, reached the mark with a win during Friday night's 42-23 dual win over Wayzata. Back at Irish Gym Saturday morning, seventh-ranked Levine reached the century mark with a 3-0 day at 126 pounds at the Irish Duals.
The hot shooting of Cole Northwick sparked Rosemount to its second South Suburban Conference win of the season last Tuesday. Northwick knocked down 6 of 10 shots from beyond the three-point arc en route to a season-high 20 points as the Irish pulled away from winless Burnsville 71-52 at Irish Gym. "Cole Northwick shot the ball very well and our energy was very good," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said.
The Rosemount girls hockey team managed to lose to the ninth-ranked team in Class 2A twice last week -- and it played two different teams. The Irish were shut out 4-0 by then-No. 9 Lakeville South at home last Tuesday night. By Saturday afternoon Eagan had taken over the No. 9 spot -- thanks to a head-to-head win over the Cougars a week earlier -- and the Wildcats continued to roll with a 7-1 romp over the Irish at Rosemount Community Center. Eagan pulled away during a five-goal second period where it outshot Rosemount, 24-4.
Last-place Burnsville was a welcome sight on the schedule for a Rosemount girls basketball team mired in a six-game losing streak. The Irish shot 46 percent from the floor and ended their slide with a 63-57 win last Tuesday in Burnsville. Sophomore Hannah Grim was once again the team's go-to scorer, dropping 29 points on 12 of 22 shooting. She also grabbed seven of the team's 18 steals. Hannah Halterman added nine points and five assists and Ellie Vraa scored nine points and grabbed four steals.
The Rosemount boys hockey team outshot Bloomington Kennedy 42-18 while securing its first South Suburban Conference win of the season 4-2 Thursday night at Bloomington Ice Garden. The Irish (4-12) fell behind 1-0 after allowing a first-period power play goal, but senior forward Andy Gustafson tied the game back up with a goal 30 seconds into the second (assist to Ted Schultz). Five minutes later, a power play goal by Austin Anderson (assists to Luke Meade and Anthony Winters) gave Rosemount a 2-1 advantage.
The 2012 calendar year hasn't been kind to the Rosemount girls basketball team. The Irish wrapped up their December schedule with a record of 6-4, but have since lost six straight South Suburban Conference games by an average of more than 18 points per game. The closest of the six came Friday night when 3-11 Eagan escaped Irish Gym with a 63-60 victory. The Irish shot well, connecting on 50 percent of their shots from the field, but 12 missed free throws and 27 turnovers against the Wildcats' full-court press proved costly.
The Rosemount and Burnsville girls hockey teams have proved to be pretty evenly matched this season. The squads skated to a 1-1 tie Saturday at Burnsville Ice Center, the second deadlock they have played to in the last month and a half. The first match-up in early December resulted in a 5-5 draw. Despite the drop in goals, Irish coach Josh Hoekstra said the two games had a lot in common. "Saturday's game was very similar to the first one," he said. "Both teams played hard and had a chance to win." Each team went scoreless over the 17-minute third period and eight-minute overtime.