Crookston dominated the paint with junior post Michael Hefta scoring a game-high 15 points and senior post Alec Boike adding nine points to lead the Pirates to a 70-40 victory over Roseau in a key Section 8AA North matchup in Crookston.
The Pirates hit eight threes in the game.
"We have been shooting better as of late," said Pirate head coach Greg Garmen. "We are shooting with more confidence and that's what we need.
"We boarded well," noted Garmen. "Travis Vatthauer got a bunch on the weak side. We worked hard to get around and deny as much as we could."
Crookston's leading scorer on the season, sophomore Aaron Hollcraft, posted seven points, all in the second half. Sophomore Ryan Porter scored 12 points, while senior Alex Boone added ten. Senior Travis Vatthauer scored five points, while sophomore Danny Davidson and senior Seth Solheim came off the bench to score five points.
"It helps when Aaron hasn't scored and we're up at halftime," said Garmen. "Then he doesn't have to score and do it all.
"Michael has worked hard on his game and his post moves," explained Garmen. "He and Alec Boike open up the outside more when they score down low."
Tayler Johnston led Roseau with 13 points, while Ethan Johnson scored ten.
Garmen noted in the previous meeting between the two teams Roseau's Johnston, Bailey Sampson and Jacob Eaton accounted for a bulk of the scoring. The Pirates held those three to a combined 18 points Monday.
With Crookston holding a slim 11-10 lead with about 11 minutes left in the first half, Davidson hit a three to spark a 16-4 run for the Pirates. The run was capped by a three from Boone with 6:38 left, giving the Pirates a 27-14 lead.
The halftime lead was 34-21 for the Pirates as Hollcraft jump started the second half with a three. That began a 15-2 run that spanned about three minutes and was capped by a three from Porter and three-point play by Hefta to make it 49-23.
The Pirates improve to 7-7 on the season and 4-4 against section opponents. They will travel to take on longtime rival Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Thursday.