Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014.
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The Section Section 3AAAA girls' basketball championship game between Rosemount and Eastview Wednesday night felt like heavyweight boxing match with both teams exchanging knockout punches for the entire second half. The Irish led 19-17 at halftime and from the opening whistle of the second half, they and Eastview made big shot after big shot, alternating leads with each basket feeling 10 times more critical than the last. However, the Lightning ended up taking a 42-41 lead with under a minute left and held on to make their eighth-straight state tournament. I
The Rosemount Irish boys' basketball team lost to Burnsville Tuesday night in a nail-biter 65-63 in the first round of the Section 3AAAA playoffs. The Irish had a shot to tie the game or win it and the very end but were just not able to convert. The loss ends the season for Rosemount as they finish with a 4-23 overall record, two more wins than they had last season.
A dream come true Irish senior wrestler Ezayah Oropeza had just one goal this season after taking second last year at state in the 220-pound weight class—win a state championship—and he achieved that goal on Saturday, March 2, at the Xcel Energy Center. Oropeza is a state champion.
Senior diver Brady Carrigan and junior swimmer Keegan Henning both competed in the Class AA state swimming and diving meet this past weekend at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota's campus. It was both their first times competing at the state tournament as Carrigan took part in the one-meter dive and Henning swam the 500-yard freestyle. Both said they were overcome with emotion when they realized they had qualified.
The Rosemount Irish girls' basketball team may just be on one of the hottest winning-streaks in the state of Minnesota heading into the Section 3AAAA championship game on Wednesday, March 6, at Eastview. The Irish won their last eight games of the regular season and extended that winning streak to 10 games with their two section wins over Eagan and Apple Valley. The streak comes after a rough patch in January where Rosemount lost six of eight games, but that's behind them now as they face the familiar Lightning to go to state. This is the fourth time in five years the two teams have played in the section championship game and the Irish are coming off their first win over Eastview in over a decade.
Playoffs are here and the No. 3-seeded Rosemount Irish girls' basketball team got off on the right foot when they beat the No. 6 Eagan Wildcats 49-33 Wednesday night, Feb. 27, in Rosemount. After a rough month of January, the Irish got back on track and won their last eight games of the regular season heading into sections. They finished the regular season with a 17-9 overall record and went 9-9 in the South Suburban Conference to take sixth. With the win over the Wildcats, Rosemount travels to No. 2 Apple Valley on Saturday, March 2, for the section semifinals. Apple Valley beat Hastings 80-58 on Wednesday night.
The Rosemount Irish boys' hockey team had their section run cut short on Saturday, Feb. 23, when they lost at home 4-2 to the No. 3-seed in Section 3AA Eagan Wildcats. The No. 2 Irish beat No. 7 Park in the first round of sections 8-2 on Thursday while the Wildcats moved past No. 6 Bloomington Jefferson 6-2 in the first round. It was thanks to a four-goal second period that Eagan took the advantage against Rosemount, who was unable to mount a comeback despite almost doubling the Wildcats shots for the game. The two teams had split their previous two matchups during the regular season. With the loss, Eagan advanced to the section championship game on Thursday, Feb. 28, against top-seeded St. Thomas Academy.
The Rosemount Irish boys' swimming diving team is sending two entrants to the Class AA state swim meet—senior diver Brady Carrigan in the one-meter dive and junior Keegan Henning in the 500-yard freestyle—despite Mother Nature's best efforts. They cancelled swimming on Wednesday, Feb. 20, and ended up doing all diving on Thursday. The preliminaries were cancelled and they held just one time final to see who would go to state on Friday, Feb. 22. Head coach Jake Kemna said his team definitely had to overcome some adversity and they responded well.
Rosemount High School hosted the Section 2AAA individual wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23, and saw two of its wrestlers advance to the state tournament—senior Ezayah Oropeza at 220 pounds for the second-straight year and fellow senior Zach Young at 182 in his first trip to state. Oropeza was the section champion for a second time and returns to the state tournament where he finished as the runner-up last winter in the same weight class. Young placed second in his weight class to advance. As a team, The Irish had four wrestlers place in the top four—freshman Tony Byersdorfer, Young, Oropeza and senior Max Otterdahl. The Class AAA state individual tournament is Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, at the Xcel Energy Center.
Rosemount Irish senior Alex Barcus and Farmington Tiger sophomore Libby Bolton both competed at the Class AA state gymnastics meet this past Saturday, Feb. 23. Barcus qualified for the state meet on both the uneven bars and beam, while Bolton went for the floor exercise. It was both girls' first time competing at the state meet. Barcus took 45th on the balance beam with a score of 8.500 despite a fall. On the uneven bars, she finished 39th with a score of 8.825. Bolton took 48th on floor with a score of 8.050 after a fall during her routine.