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Stifling defense keys Rosemount victory over Centennial

By Jim Paulsen, Star Tribune, 04/07/21, 8:15PM CDT


The Irish prevailed 40-33, scoring just 13 points in the second half while holding the Cougars to one field goal.

Rosemount's Alexa Ratzlaff (21) looks for room under the basket against Centennial Wednesday night. Ratzlaff had nine points in the Irish’s 40-33 victory over the Cougars. Photo: Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine

Rosemount coach Chris Orr knows his team isn’t going to rout opponents offensively.

The Irish don’t score a lot of points but the team plays pretty ferocious defense. Rosemount’s calling card all season lifted the Irish to a 40-33 victory over Centennial in the Class 4A semifinals.

Nicole O’Neil scored 10 points, all in the first half, the only player in the game to reach double figures, to give Rosemount (20-3) a 27-25 at halftime.

First report

Offense may have been in short supply after halftime, but all that mattered to Rosemount is that when the game ended, the Irish had more points than Centennial.

Rosemount pulled out a 40-33 victory over the Cougars to advance to the Class 4A championship game on Friday.

After a closely played first half, which ended with Rosemount up 27-25, solid defense and poor shooting was the story in the second half. The two teams combined for just 21 points after halftime, just eight for Centennial. Rosemount made four field goals in the second half, Centennial one.

Nicole O’Neil scored 10 points to lead Rosemount and was the only player on either team to score in double figures.

The Irish (20-3) will play for a state championship for just the second time in team history. The Irish were runners-up for the Class 2A title in 1988.

Centennial finished 21-2.

Check back later for more on the game.

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