Limited to eight points in the second half, the Centennial Cougars lost their state semifinal game to the Rosemount Irish 40-33 on Wednesday night.
The Cougars’s shooting touch completed fled in the second half when made just one of 22 attempts. They were 10-for-23 in the first half, which ended with Centennial ahead 27-25.
No. 7 ranked Centennial finished 21-2. (No third-place game this year.)
Nicole O’Neill scored 10 points, Alexa Retzlaff nine and Tayah Leenderts eight for No. 10 Rosemount (20-3).
The Irish advanced to the title game against No. 3 Chaska (17-0) Friday, 8 p.m. Chaska upset No. 1 Hopkins 67-62.
Jenna Guyer scored early in the second half to pull the Cougars even at 27-27. After that, they missed every shot from the floor but made six of eight free shots.
The Irish pulled away 33-27 on three-pointers by Alexa Ratzlaff and Helen Staley. Then Rosemount went almost as cold as Centennial during an 11-minute stretch when neither team hit a basket.
Centennial was still within 36-33 in the final minute when they forced a turnover with a mid-court trap. Camille Cummings scooped up the ball and went for a layup but, at full speed, laid it up too hard and missed. Jodi Anderson rebounded, but was tied up and it was Rosemount’s turn on alternate possession.
That was a critical missed opportunity. Rosemount immediately got a breakaway layup be Leendertz with 21 seconds left to open a 38-33 lead.
The Cougars finished 11-for-45 overall and 2-for-9 on three’s.
Anderson had 10 points, and Camille Cummings and Jenna Guyer nine each. Guyer and Anderson hooked seven rebounds, leading the Cougars to a 39-31 edge.
Centennial’s only other loss was 45-32 against Elk River. (They beat the Elks twice after that.) The Cougars never scored under 54 points otherwise.