Todd Boerger scored 22 points, Carter Winand put up 15 and Nick Garmen added 11 in the Pirates' first win of the season.
At times, it appeared as if Crookston would control the game against the Bagley Flyers. Then moments later, Bagley seemed to have the upper hand. These scenarios flip-flopped numerous times, but when the clock showed no time left, the Pirates were victorious 56-53.
The Pirates got out to a favorable start with a three and a layup by senior guard Todd Boerger for a quick 5-0 lead. After a 9-0 run by the Flyers, Boerger sunk another three to make the score 9-8. The Pirates regained the lead when senior center Carter Winand muscled a layup in with the foul.
Crookston continued their 13-2 run with free throws by Winand and junior forward Blake Fee and a layup by sophomore center Caden Osborn for an 18-11 lead.
However, Bagley responded with a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game going into halftime.
Bagley continued to produce offensively at the beginning of the second half jumping out to a 30-23 lead.
Boerger stopped the bleeding with a three and Winand scored on a three point play of his own which included a free throw to cut the deficit to 32-29. Free throws by Fee and junior forward Jaden Lubarski put Crookston down by one at 33-32 then a layup by Winand with about 10 minutes left put Crookston ahead again.
“We have things to work on and it will get better as we go, but nonetheless, it was a good game for our kids to experience the emotional swings of being up and being tight and having to make plays at the end,” Head Coach Greg Garmen said.
Boerger and junior forward Nick Garmen hit threes to increase the lead to 40-33, but the Flyers retaliated once again going on a 12-0 run and took a 45-40 lead.
Crookston was able to knot the score at 47-47 after Garmen converted free throws courtesy of a technical foul and Boeger tied the game with a three pointer with 3:20 remaining. Boerger totaled 22 points in the game.
“We know he can score,” Garmen said on Boerger. “He hit enough to help us out and he can shoot with the best of them. He was getting by guys and we need him to do that.”
Trailing 50-49 with under two minutes left, Bagley missed a free throw that rolled out of bounds as players attempted to rebound giving Crookston possession.
On the following play, Garmen drove to the rim giving the Pirates the 51-50 lead. Garmen and Winand converted free throws to increase the lead to 56-50 which proved costly as a Bagley player heaved a three point buzzer beater from the opposing free throw line.
“It was a fun game to be a part of,” Garmen said. “We were down at one point and then we were up. Then they score eight in a row and they’re up one. We made some nice plays, made our free throws and took the lead again. I told them we did just enough right to come away with the win.”
At 1-1 on the year, the Pirates next task will be a road match against Warroad on Friday, December 8 with a 6 p.m. tip-off.