When it mattered most, Eastview leaned on its most experienced players to edge Rosemount 42-41 on Wednesday night in the Class 4A, Section 3 title game.
Emma Carpenter's layup with 25.6 seconds left gave Eastview (22-5) the lead for good, capping a second half in which the lead changed hands six times.
Rosemount (19-10) missed two shots at potential game-winning baskets in the final 10 seconds.
Both teams were on hot streaks coming into the game. Defending state champion Eastview had won nine consecutive games, its last loss coming against Rosemount. The Irish had done one better, winning 10 in a row with a lineup mostly of underclassmen.
The Irish took a 19-17 lead at halftime, thanks to the inside strength of sophomore forward Helen Staley. She scored 10 of her 12 points in the first half.
Rosemount extended the lead to 28-22 early in the second half before Eastview started to lean on its senior trio of guards — Carpenter, Macy Guebert and Lauren Glas. They scored 20 of the Lightning's 25 second-half points.
"Our senior class is super special because it's the first class I've had here for four years," Eastview coach Molly Kasper said. "We have a great relationship in the aspect of knowing I can call on them when I need them."
She needed them most after halftime. Carpenter and Guebert, who totaled just three points between them in the first half, scored all of Eastview's points on a 15-4 run that plugged Rosemount's growing momentum.
When Rosemount mounted a run to retake the lead, it was Glas who responded with a traditional three-point play to tie the score 38-38.
The Lightning veteran's moxie paid off in the game-winning basket. After the play that was called didn't work, Carpenter saw an opening and dropped down toward the basket. She was wide open and then hit what proved to be the game-winner.
Glas said not wanting their high school careers end on their home court motivated the Lightning in the second half. "At halftime, coach came in and said 'You've got one half left of basketball here,' " Glas said. "We've played together since fourth grade. The seniors took that to heart."