Irish End Season in Section 5AA Play

By Brenda Erdahl Sports, Editor

The Irish girls basketball team ended its season in the second round of the Section 5AA playoff’s last week.

The No. 6 seeded Maple Lake kicked off the tournament on Thursday, March 1, against the No. 11 seed Breck at home and came away with a 53-33 win.

On Saturday, March 3, the Irish faced Watertown-Mayer at St. Michael-Albertville and lost a close 49-44 contest to end its season.

The Irish jumped out to a 16-3 lead against the Breck Mustangs thanks to a combination of stout half-court defense and quick transition scores. Maple Lake never looked back despite a somewhat cold shooting night. By the half the home team was up 26-14. The Irish took advantage of Breck’s zone defense by attacking the lane for easy baskets to lead by 24 with eight minutes to play. Every Maple Lake player had the chance to contribute, coach Adam Ronnenberg said.

Linsey Rachel had 11 points, nine rebounds, six steals, and four assists in the win; Mackenna Brown supplied 11 points and five rebounds; Grace Heying battled her way to nine points and nine rebounds; and Calli Maki and Mollie Scheiber had eight and seven points respectively.

“Good way to start our playoff run,” coach Ronnenberg said. “We defended well and dominated the offensive and defensive glass. Great energy from our girls whether they were on the bench or the court. Such a fun atmosphere!”

Maple Lake outrebounded the Mustangs 45-25, forced Breck into 23 turnovers, and scored 21 points on those turnovers. The Irish also scored 34 of the 53 points in the lane and shot 35 percent to Breck’s 29 percent.

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