Pirates win their ninth game of the year.
Each time Crookston has lost this year, they have returned the next game with a win. This was the case again as the Pirates handled the Bagley Flyers in a 70-16 win, their largest margin of victory this season.
“The number one thing is to treat every game the same way,” Head Coach Darin Zimmerman said. “There are certain things that we want to do every game and some things we’ve been working on that we know will make us a better team: our spacing, making sure we’re in the correct gap on defense, communicating on defense. We need to do those things well coming up in February and March.”
Emma Borowicz (So. G) and Kylie Solheim (Sr. G) led the Pirates (9-2) with 12 points apiece, Hayden Winjum (Fr. G) scored 10, Dani Boyle (Jr. G) added nine, Gretchen Theis (Jr. G) put up six, Emma Boll (So. F), Halle Winjum (7th Grade G) and Kasey Cwikla (Jr. G) each contributed five and Jenna Coauette (Fr. G), Rachel Hefta (Sr. F) and Ally Perreault (Fr. F) rounded out the list with two apiece.
For Bagley (0-10), Kara Bowman (Sr. G) scored nine of her team's 16 points.
“I thought everybody that played did a good job,” Zimmerman said. “I saw different things from all 12 kids that played. They all stepped up and all brought the intensity on the defensive end. I thought they did a good job of playing unselfish basketball.”
The Pirates scored the first points of the game and never looked back. Crookston dominated in every facet and used the control to grab a 13-1 lead early. Borowicz, Hefta, Solheim and Hayden Winjum all recorded buckets in the initial run.
With 11:45 to play, Boyle made the first three-pointer of the game to increase the lead to 16-3. The trey served as the first from the team in two games after they missed every attempt the last time out.
The Pirates also benefited from free throw opportunities. Twelve of Crookston’s first-half points came from the charity stripe. Cwikla, Winjum and Solheim all took trips to the line to expand on a 14-0 run and helped their team to a 27-3 lead with 5:55 to play.
“We didn’t shoot very well in [the last game], and the big thing tonight was we shot a little better, and we know if we do the things that we’ve done in all our wins this year, we’re going to be really close if not on the right end of the scoreboard more often than not,” Zimmerman said. “Coming back and bouncing back after a loss is always important and we’ve done that after all of our losses so far.”
Theis added a layup and Solheim scored style points with a reverse layup for a 42-9 advantage. The Pirates put up two more and led 44-9 at halftime. Bagley scoring nine points in the first half became the third time Crookston held an opponent to under 10 points in the opening half this season.
Crookston took their foot of the gas as much as they could and utilized all 12 players on their roster. Perrault used the opportunity to notch her first career varsity points on a shot in the paint with 9:20 to play in the game.
“[Ally's] had some good looks in a couple of games already this year, just couldn’t quite convert, but she got it done tonight and it’s a big moment for her,” Zimmerman said.
Bagley only mustered seven points in the second half and the Pirates completed their ninth win of the season with a 70-16 victory. Last year, it took Crookston 16 games to reach nine wins and are only five away from surpassing their win total from 2017-2018.
The Pirates will spend their next two games away from home when they travel to Virginia and Hibbing on Friday and Saturday, January 11 and 12. Tip-off against Virginia is 7:30 p.m. on Friday and the Hibbing matchup takes place at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Crookston owns a 3-0 record in true road games this year.
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