Nick Garmen and Carter Winand each recorded a double-double in the win.
FISHER - Crookston played close to home against the Climax-Fisher Knights, but they might as well have been at home as their dominant play led to a 69-44 win. After losing five straight, the Pirates have won their last five of six games and three in a row to equal a record of 9-7.
Junior forward Nick Garmen led the team in points with 20 and notched 13 rebounds for a double-double. Senior center Carter Winand scored 17 and accompanied the points with 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Junior forward Jaden Lubarski served as the third Pirate to score double digit points with 10. Senior guard Todd Boerger and junior forward Blake Fee each tallied eight, senior forward Jackson Seibel put up five and sophomore guard Walker Winjum finished with two.
“I thought the offense we were running was working wonderfully,” Head Coach Greg Garmen said. “People were getting open looks and we connected. We had a couple of big runs in the first half that put us up comfortably. Early on, it was a bit of a battle, but we hung in there and didn’t get rattled.”
The Knights jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but the Pirates benefited from turnovers and second chance points. Lubarski converted on a layup and Fee hit two quick threes to give the Pirates a 10-9.
Garmen continued the stretch with back-to-back buckets continued by Winand who followed suit with five straight points. Seibel capped off the 11-0 run and a 21-11 lead with a basket after a rebound.
“We had pretty active hands and getting deflections,” Garmen said. “We were moving our feet and stepping into passing lanes which is what you need to do. We had more rebounds today than other games combined and that’s good to see. Means we’re being active and thinking about what we need to do rather than just watching what’s going on.”
The Knights cut down the deficit to 22-16, but a second chance basket from Fee got the Pirates back on track. With 7:22 to play, Fee already recorded eight points, marking the second straight game he has scored eight and the most since scoring 11 against Warroad on December 8.
“For me, I thought it was kind of lucky,” Fee said. “I didn’t know if those two threes I made were going to go in. Then on the two-pointer, I just grabbed an offensive rebound and went back up with it strong and it felt good.”
After Climax-Fisher made it 24-18, the Pirates went on a 15-0 run in which seven of the points belonged to Garmen. At the break, Crookston led the Knights 42-22.
Garmen continued his successful night scoring the Pirates’ first six points of the second half.
“[Nick] got some steals that lead to layups and that always helps when you’re shooting a two-footer rather than a 20-footer,” Greg Garmen said. “He’s got good instincts and he’s always figuring out where the ball is going to be coming out.”
After a Garmen bucket made the score 48-24, the Pirates committed their first shooting foul of the game with 12:48 to play.
“We’re trying not to foul too much because we run at practice if we have too many fouls,” Fee said. “Same for turnovers so we’re just trying not to run too much at practice.”
Starting with just under 12 minutes remaining, Jaden Lubarski scored half of his game total’s worth of points in a span of less than two minutes.
At this point, Crookston led 55-33. Carter Winand matched Lubarski’s efforts scoring five straight points of his own to increase the lead to 60-33.
The defense prevented any extensive runs and closed out the win 69-44. Crookston improves to 9-7 with 10 games left before the section tournament.
To kick off the final 10 games, the Pirates will play five of their next six games at home starting with Warroad in the Crookston High School gym on February 2 at 7:30 p.m.