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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Since scoring six points in the second half of a 50-point loss to Edina on Nov. 29, the Rosemount girls basketball team has started to turn things around. The Irish followed up that debacle by beating Farmington and Tartan and putting forth what head coach Sam McDonald called a "much, much better effort" in a 24-point loss to fourth-ranked Lakeville North.
The 200 medley relay team opened the meet by setting another pool record and the Rosemount swimming and diving team improved to 2-0 in the South Suburban Conference with a 111-73 win over Eagan Friday night at Dakota Hills Middle School. The foursome of seniors Braden McCormack, Jake Stern, Luke Dowell and Conor Manning combined on a winning time of 1 minute, 40.70 seconds, over seven seconds better than Eagan's second-place team.
Seven of Rosemount's 13 wrestlers reached the finals Saturday afternoon as the Irish cruised to the team title at the Kenyon-Wanamingo Dave Mauseth Invitational. The Irish crowed three tournament champions -- Dan Rosa, Adam Jackson and Sam Moeller -- as they racked up 197 1/2 points and outscored runner-up Kenyon-Wanamingo by 44 1/2 points. Stillwater Area (141), Medford (139), Faribault (136), Cannon Falls/Randolph (123), Burnsville (121), Triton (86), Northfield (82) and Blooming Prairie (39) rounded out the 10-team tournament. "We had a great day. It was an overall team effort.
It had been nearly two years since Rosemount's boys basketball team held an opponent under 40 points. The combination of a patient Shakopee offense and a defense that kept the ball out of the paint allowed the Irish to get past Shakopee 47-37 in a non-conference road game last Tuesday. Three days later, the winless Sabers stepped back onto their home court and upset No. 6-ranked (Class 3A) Waconia, 65-58. "We did a very nice job protecting the paint and forcing them to shoot from the outside," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said.
Rosemount's defense clamped down in the second half and helped the Irish earn their first victory of the young season Saturday afternoon. A two-point halftime advantage gradually stretched to double figures as the Irish held Minneapolis South to 21 second-half points in a 66-52 win at Irish Gym. "We played great half-court defense for the last 15 minutes of the game," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said. Senior Matt Nelson led Rosemount on the offensive end for the third straight game, scoring 20 points to go along with 14 rebounds.
If Friday's season-opening meet against Lakeville South was any indication, it's going to be another successful winter for the Rosemount boys swimming and diving team. The fourth-ranked Irish won 11 of 12 events -- and finished second by nine-hundredths of a second in the other - while rolling to a 97 1/2-80 1/2 victory over the Cougars at Kenwood Trail Middle School. "It was a good first meet for us. It gave the guys a chance to get some racing under their belt and practice all the meet-type situations we have been talking about," Rosemount coach Patti Wegner said.
Steve Levine and Adam Jackson finished first in their weight classes in leading Rosemount to second place out of nine teams Saturday at the Shakopee Invitational. The host Sabers outscored the Irish 210 1/2-184 1/2 for the team title. Rochester Mayo placed third with 145 1/2 points, followed by Bloomington Kennedy (137), Lakeville South (137), Prescott (134), Blaine (97), Rocori (83) and Blooming Prairie (38). In all, 10 Irish wrestlers finished in the top four in their division.
In a game where shots weren't falling for either side, Rosemount's ability to take care of the basketball carried it to a sloppy 38-34 non-conference victory over Farmington Friday night. The Irish shot just 29 percent from the floor, but limited their own turnovers to 14 while forcing the Tigers into 27 giveaways in the defensive struggle. "We made just enough plays down the stretch in the second half. It was kind of a struggle on both ends for both teams throughout the game, but we were able to hold on on a tough shooting night," Rosemount coach Sam McDonald said.
A pair of ranked opponents made for a challenging week for the Rosemount girls hockey team. The Irish fell 7-3 at home against 13th-ranked (Class 2A) Lakeville North last Tuesday, then saw a 4-1 lead disappear in a 5-4 overtime loss at second-ranked (Class 1A) Breck last Thursday. "We had two tough games last week," Rosemount coach Josh Hoekstra said. "What impressed me most about Lakeville North was not only their talent, but their work ethic. They just kept coming and coming. They were relentless.
Rosemount head coach Bryan Schnettler was pleased with his team's effort in last Thursday's season opener at Minnetonka. The Irish kept the game close throughout, but problems taking care of the ball and controlling the glass resulted in a 60-55 setback. They finished with more turnovers (23) than field goals (21) and surrendered 16 offensive rebounds that turned into 16 points for Minnetonka. "I loved our effort last (Thursday), just like I have loved our effort through the first two weeks of practice," Schnettler said. "We have great kids that work hard and listen well....