Two games, two days, two buzzer beaters, two losses. No kidding.
Coming off a devastating last-second loss Thursday in Ada-Borup, the Pirates were looking to rebound Friday at home against East Grand Forks. They played right with the 19-5 Green Wave, leading by four with a minute and a half left, but a last second shot buried Crookston 58-57.
When asked if he had ever experienced two buzzer beaters like that, Pirate head coach Greg Garmen said, "Not in 24 hours. I saw him let it go and splash, two nights in a row."
The Pirates held a 57-55 lead with seven seconds remaining. On an inbounds pass at the Green Wave baseline, Jim Warmack got the ball and fed Ty Misialek in the corner where he nailed a three with a hand in his face.
"We have to get over the hump," Garmen said. “We are right there. We just hope the law of averages turns around."
Pirate sophomore Aaron Hollcraft led all scorers with 15 points. Senior guard Alex Boone added 14 points, while senior Travis Vatthauer had 12 points and junior center Michael Hefta had eight.
Misialek led East Grand Forks with 14 points, while Grant Frydenlund and Warmack each had ten points.
Pirate senior Alec Boike and Hefta held the 6-foot-7 Warmack in check for most of the night.
"I thought Michael and Alec did a good job on Warmack," Garmen said. "He got some putbacks but he didn't go off on us."
Crookston led 9-6 early on before East Grand Forks went on a 7-0 run over a minute and a half stretch.
The Pirates answered a few minutes later, though, with a 10-0 run, including threes from Boone and Vatthauer, to go up 22-16 with six minutes left in the first half.
East Grand Forks took a 30-27 lead into halftime and went on a 10-4 run to start the second half, leading 38-31.
The Green Wave hung onto the lead until the Pirates cut the deficit to one with a 9-2 run over four minutes, capped by a three from sophomore Ryan Porter to make it 46-45.
Then, with three minutes remaining, Hollcraft knocked down a three to tie the game at 50 and jump start a 7-0 Crookston run to take a 54-50 lead with 1:30 left, forcing the Green Wave to take a timeout.
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"We had a good run to get stuff inside and we were going after them," Garmen said of the 7-0 run. "We needed a little bounce here and there, a little luck."
After an East Grand Forks three, Boone hit two free throw with 32 seconds left. But with nine seconds left, Frydenlund was fouled while shooting a three. The former state free throw champion made two of the three to cut it to one.
The Green Wave fouled Hefta immediately and he hit one of two before Misialek hit the game winner at the buzzer.
"Other than losing, we look pretty tough," Garmen said. "We need a win certainly going into the playoffs and we have Win-E-Mac left and they are no slouch."
Crookston, now 11-13 on the season, hosts Win-E-Mac Thursday at 8 p.m.