Returning guards key to Irish’s hopes

Goetz, Northwick come up big in boys hoops opener

As Rosemount’s boys basketball team prepared for its season, a couple of things became clear: The Irish needed Garrett Goetz and Cole Northwick to be good, and they needed to find some players to complement those two.

Goetz and Northwick are the only players who scored more than 10 points for the varsity last season, when the Irish were 11-16. This year’s team is younger and much less experienced, but coach Bryan Schnettler said he sees potential.

“Garrett and Cole started most of last year, so they’ll certainly be playing a lot,” Schnettler said.

In the opener Tuesday night against Shakopee, they also scored a lot. The two junior guards had almost 75 percent of the Irish’s points in a 57-55 victory over Shakopee. Goetz had a game-high 27 and Northwick scored 15.

Schnettler said the Irish probably will look to run as much as possible.

“Garrett’s going to be our point guard, but we’ll probably have three guards on the floor at all times,” the coach said. “We’ve told our guards that if they get a rebound, push it up the floor. If it’s not Garrett getting the rebound, then he’ll become a wing.”

Sophomore guard Logan Halvorson saw some varsity playing time last season and looked good in practice, Schnettler said. He had five points in the Shakopee game.

Center Kyle Kaupa and forward Jack Kessler also are promising sophomores. The senior class includes forward Matt Gulland and guard Jeremy Macchitelli.

A faster-paced game with more possessions might suit Rosemount because “one thing we do well is shoot the ball,” Schnettler said.

Defensively, the coach said the Irish would look to play primarily man-to-man while mixing in some full-court pressure and half-court traps.

To play the style of offense the Irish want, they’ll have to rebound well, and in preseason scrimmages “we struggled,” Schnettler said. “We didn’t rebound as well as we needed to. And this week we have two games where we need to rebound well.”

The Irish passed one test against Shakopee. On Friday they will be at home against state power Hopkins, which won the Class 4A championship three years in a row from 2009-11. They’ll also face Cretin-Derham Hall, Woodbury and Benilde-St. Margaret’s before playing their first South Suburban Conference game against Lakeville South on Dec. 21.

More than anything, Rosemount would like to avoid a repeat of the way last season ended. The Irish were 6-2 on Jan. 1, riding a six-game winning streak, then went 5-14 the rest of the way.