When the brackets for the Class 4A tournament were released, unseeded Roseville found it was matched up against No. 3-seeded Cretin-Derham Hall, to whom it had lost to twice during the regular season.

So why was coach Jeff Crosby happy about it?

"I was like, 'This going to be fun,' " Crosby said.

Roseville showed why, using the knowledge and confidence gained in the previous two meetings to shut down Cretin-Derham Hall and advance to the Class 4A semifinals with a 56-48 victory.

Roseville (23-7) lost the first game with the Raiders by 22, the second by a single point. The improvement it showed between the two matchups buoyed Crosby's spirit heading into matchup No. 3.

"We talked about how we've grown from five or six weeks ago to today," he said. "We were close in that last game and had a chance to win it."

"He was so happy," chimed in junior guard Jada Hood, who stood out not only because of her shocking pink hair but her adept ball-handling and ability to get Roseville into its offensive sets. Hood scored 18 points and helped seal the victory with five free throws in the final two minutes.

Roseville's scrappy, physical defense threw Cretin-Derham Hall (21-7) off its game.

"They've obviously gotten a lot better defensively," Cretin-Derham Hall coach Joe Lynch said. "We just didn't get in a rhythm, couldn't get on a run."

Lynch acknowledged being concerned about playing Roseville a third time.

"I wish we had gotten the four seed," he joked. "But we were really proud of the seed we got. Credit to Roseville. They played really well."

Jim Paulsen