The Rosemount Irish boys' basketball team hosted the Farmington Tigers on Friday, Feb. 2, in a battle of two teams looking to get back on track in South Suburban Conference play. Heading into the night, it appeared that it could be a very close game as both teams are guard-oriented and play with pace. The game also featured a matchup, or maybe I should say collision, in the post between two Division 1 football players; Farmington's senior Brock Mogensen (headed to the University of South Dakota) and Rosemount's Sam Willmott (signed with South Dakota State University). The Irish led 34-29 at half, but the Tigers pulled away in the second half and won 77-55. With the win (and a loss to Lakeville South on Monday, Feb. 5), Farmington is now 10-9 overall and 3-8 in the SSC. Rosemount continues to struggle to close out games after losing several key contributors last year and in their first season under new head coach Lance Walsten. The Irish are now 1-18 overall and 0-11 in the SSC after losing Monday, Feb. 5, to Eagan.
There was no feeling-out period between the two teams to start the game; both sides ramped up the tempo and Farmington applied pressure right out of the gate, which allowed them to get out to a 7-2 lead. Rosemount answered to tie it up with help from two soft jumpers by Willmott and junior Andrew Reuter had 10 of Rosemount's first 19 when they led 19-16. The Irish led 34-29 at halftime behind Reuter and senior Luke Siwek's 12 points, while junior Adam Weed was aggressive for the Tigers with 10 points and fellow junior James Shrum added seven.
The second half was a completely different story as Farmington ratcheted up the pressure even more and quickly came back to take a 41-38 lead with 12 minutes left in the game. The Irish struggled to handle the Tigers' press in the second half and could not get into a flow offensively. Farmington led 54-49 with six minutes left and then blew the game open as they started to make 3-pointers off of forced turnovers. For a brief stretch there were players from both sides, especially the Farmington guards and the Siweks (Luke and Jacob) for Rosemount, flying all over the floor. Farmington went on to win 77-55. Final game stats were not available at the time this article was written.
A month left
There is just a month left in the regular season for both teams until section playoffs begin. Farmington sits just above .500 overall and with seven SSC games left, conceivably can get to about .500 in SSC play as well. They travel to Eastview on Friday, Feb. 9.
Rosemount will continue to develop and should look to go into the section playoffs with as much momentum as possible, as they are probably looking at the bottom seed in section 3AAAA barring a massive turnaround.
Both teams end their regular seasons with a rematch at Farmington on Friday, March 2.