Roseau's green-and-white uniforms on Friday reflected school colors, not Irish heritage. Besides, the undefeated and top-ranked Rams would rather celebrate Saturday after winning their first girls' basketball state title.
They are in position to make history after a 79-57 rout of New London-Spicer in the Class 2A tournament semifinal at Williams Arena. The Rams (31-0) advanced to the championship game against second-seeded Sauk Centre at 2 p.m. Saturday, new territory for the northern Minnesota program.
Senior guard Kiley Borowicz hit six three-pointers and led Roseau with 41 points.
"It's a really great feeling because we've worked for this since elementary school and everyone's been saying this is our year," Borowicz said. "So I really hope we can pull through."
Fourth-seeded New London-Spicer (27-4) became the latest victim of Roseau's dominance. Only once this season has the Rams' margin of victory been fewer than 10 points.
"Number 44 [Borowicz] is an awful, awful good player and they've got other good players, too," said Wildcats coach Mike Dreier, the winningest coach in Minnesota girls' basketball history.
The Rams built a 12-3 lead to start the game before New London-Spicer answered with a 14-0 run of its own. In the second half, Roseau opened with a 12-2 run. This time, however, the Wildcats wilted.
Roseau pounced for 10 second-half steals, many times slapping the ball away from unsuspecting Wildcats players.
"They just got in our heads," said junior guard Shea Oman, who led New London-Spicer with 21 points. "We've never played a team that will just take it from you while you're standing there."
Sauk Centre 58, Watertown-Mayer 41: Sauk Centre freshman guard Tori Peschel watched older sister Kali play in the 2012 championship game and now gets a chance of her own.
The Mainstreeters' victory over Watertown-Mayer booked their third title game appearance in six seasons. Tori Peschel led the way with game highs in scoring (20 points) and rebounds (13).
"To be there is a great opportunity, and I'm excited," Peschel said.
She embodied the ability of Sauk Centre (31-1) to adapt. When her first shot, a three-point attempt, didn't fall, Peschel began driving to the basket. Conversely, as Watertown-Mayer saw standout forward Monika Czinano double- and triple-teamed, the Royals offense struggled to find a Plan B.
Czinano, a 6-2 junior forward who made a verbal commitment to Iowa, was held to six points, and No. 3 seed Watertown-Mayer (27-4) shot only 23 percent from the floor.
"Sauk did a nice job defending us and making sure our inside-out game didn't really come through," Czinano said.
Sauk Centre coach Scott Bergman credited Alyssa Kohorst, a 5-8 senior forward, for "blocking [Czinano] out the whole game" and holding her to just one offensive rebound.
Little salvation was found on the perimeter. Watertown-Mayer was 3-for-20 from the three-point arc.
"They forced us to rush our shots," Royals coach John Rosholt said. "We didn't have our feet set a lot and we front-rimmed a lot."
Meanwhile, Peschel, Jill Klaphake (14 points) and Maesyn Thiesen (11) shared the offensive load. But defense made the difference.
"We hope our defensive pressure eventually gets to teams, and I think it did tonight," Bergman said.