Emma Borowicz and Jaeden Lizakowski each scored nine in the loss.

    The Crookston Pirates’ defense has been able to keep them in games, but missed opportunities proved to be a factor in the Pirates 49-40 loss to Thief River Falls according to Head Coach Darin Zimmerman.   

    “We started okay,” Zimmerman said. “After a while, we just didn’t attack very well and we didn’t make shots with some good looks. We just got to convert on opportunities more. When we start putting those shots in, that’s going to be 15 to 20 points more in a game.”   

    Crookston (3-4) held Thief River Falls to 20 points for the first half and trailed heading into halftime 20-15.   

    “Defensively, we’ve played very well this year,” Zimmerman said. “We had one lapse in the second half where we gave them 10 pretty quick. Defensively, we’ve played well enough to win games, but we just need to be a little better on offense.”   

    The offense picked up for the second half, but the Pirates could not overcome the deficit allowing 29 points in the second half.    

    Leading the scoring for Crookston were freshman and senior guards Emma Borowicz and Jaeden Lizakowski with nine apiece.   

    Junior forward Rachel Hefta notched seven and contributed defensively which her coach Zimmerman commended.   

    “I thought Rachel Hefta played outstanding defensively all night,” Zimmerman said. “I think she had about five to six blocks. She did a great job on one of their better players. But all 10 kids that played did a great job.”   

    Sophomore guard Kasey Cwikla added five and senior guard Bailey Folkers tallied four. Also helping were junior and eighth grade guards Kylie Solheim and Hayden Winjum who scored three and two respectively and junior forward Hailey Seaver got one on a free throw.   

    Crookston will get time to rest before they compete in the Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Tournament. The tournament lasts two days starting Thursday, December 28 and continuing to Friday, December 29. Following the out-of-town tournament, the Pirates will come home to face Barnesville on Thursday, January 4 for their first home game since the season-opener against Sacred Heart.