The Pirates trailed by five at halftime Thursday to Ada-Borup, which has 21 wins on the season, but Crookston came alive in the second half, tightening up on defense and outscoring the Class A Cougars by seven points to pull off a key 53-51 victory in Ada.
"Coming into tonight's game we knew Ada was a good team, but we may have underestimated them a bit in the first half," said Pirate senior guard Katie Davidson after the game. "Coming into the second half we knew what we had to do to win."
Sophomore guard Sydney Boike led the Pirates with 13 points, while sophomore post Brooke Heggie added nine. Senior post Erica Samuelson and sophomore guards Kenzie Klatt and Danica Brekken each had eight points.
"We knew that we weren't going to be able to win from out shooting, and that it had to come from our defense," Davidson continued. "Our defense definitely improved in the second half, and we were able to take the lead late in the game."
Heidi Eggen led Ada-Borup with 13 points, while Monica Vega added 12 and Megan Kolness recorded 11 points.
The win boosts the Pirates, who had lost two of their last three, to 18-5 on the season.
"This win was huge for us," Davidson said. "The girls kept their composure throughout the game, which, I think, was the key in winning this game. Winning a close game like this and having to come back definitely gives us a little more confidence heading into the playoffs, but we still know we have much to work on to get to where we want to be once March comes."
The Pirates, who are ranked No. 9 in the latest QRF, finish their regular season Saturday at home against Crosby-Ironton, who is 12-13, in an important Section 8AA North matchup. Tip off is set for 2:30 p.m.