Crookston beat WAO in the semifinals, but fell short to the Green Wave in the finals.
WARREN - The Crookston Pirates advanced to the Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Tournament Championship after a win over the hosting Ponies. Their reward for winning, a contest against East Grand Forks.
The Green Wave controlled the game with an efficient offense and lockdown defense which resulted in a 64-35 win over the Pirates.
Junior forward Rachel Hefta led the Pirates in points with nine. Eighth grade guard Hayden Winjum totaled eight and senior guard Bailey Folkers scored seven points in a row near the end of the game.
Folker’s seven points put her at 98 for the season scoring 10.8 points a game.
Sophomore guard Kasey Cwikla added five, senior guard Jaeden Lizakowski put up three, junior guard Hannah Emanuel scored two and both junior forward and freshman guard Hailey Seaver and Emma Borowicz added a free throw.
The game began with a charge of points by the Green Wave. East Grand Forks jumped out to a 19-3 lead with methodical scoring and points in the paint. Cwikla ended the run with a layup to make the score 19-5. The Green Wave continued to overmatch the Pirates and went into the locker room with a 34-9 lead.
“They did some things that really took away our offense,” Head Coach Darin Zimmerman said. “I thought we got some good looks, but we just didn’t convert on them. We’ve got to do a better job of fighting through those things and not let an eight point run turn into a 20 point run.”
Crookston kept up with East Grand Forks’ scoring 26 in the second half to the Green Wave’s 30.
Winjum hit a three to give Crookston 13 points and Hefta scored back to back baskets to put the Pirates down 50-17. Winjum converted on a pair of free throws and Folkers added a basket followed by two free throws to cap off an 8-0 Pirates run.
“It was just intensity and urgency,” Zimmerman said. “They were a little ticked off with the way they were playing. They got up and challenged them a bit more and we just got a lot better. That’s how we got to play.”
Folkers and Winjum shot consecutive threes to put Crookston over the 30 point mark. Lizakowski scored her first points of the game with a three to put Crookston down 56-34, but the Green Wave closed out the win to beat the Pirates for the second time this season.
Now at 4-5 on the season, Crookston heads home for the first time since the season opener on November 27. They will take on Barnesville at 7:30 p.m. at Crookston High School.