The Pirates received scoring contribution from nine players, but could not keep up with the Prowlers' offense.
The Thief River Falls Prowlers started off the game with a 9-0 lead and only pressed on from there beating the Pirates 70-51. Crookston’s record falls to 10-10 after allowing 70 points for the second time this season.
“We were behind and trying to play catch-up for a lot of the game,” Head Coach Darin Zimmerman said. “Give [Thief River Falls] credit, they got off to a good start. We struggled to get going after that.”
Senior guard Jaeden Lizakowski led the team in points with 11. In the last three games, Lizakowski averaged 11.67 points a game which leads the team. Eighth grade guard Hayden Winjum and junior forward each put up eight points. Senior guard Bailey Folkers added six and junior guards Hannah Emanuel scored five as did freshman guard Emma Borowicz. Junior forward Hailey Seaver notched four, sophomore guard Kasey Cwikla tallied three and junior guard Elise Erdmann hit a free throw.
Crookston struggled to get within striking distance throughout the first half. Their best stretch came with about nine minutes left when the Pirates went on a 9-3 run with baskets by Winjum, Seaver and Lizakowski.
The run made the score 28-19, but Crookston could not get any closer before halftime and went into the locker room down 34-23.
“Everything we wanted to do was in that three minute run, but we just didn’t play like that enough the entire night,” Zimmerman said. “[Thief River Falls] played good team defense and it just took [us] a while to get going and get into a groove.”
The Prowlers’ offense did not give outscoring Crookston 36-28 in the second half. TRF scored six straight to lead off the half increasing their lead to 40-23. Borowicz hit a three and Lizakowski scored to make it an 11 point game again down 40-29. Hefta then scored six points in less than three minutes, but the Prowlers still led 49-35 and eventually won 70-51.
At 10-10, Crookston has dropped five of their last seven. Six games remain in the regular season and Zimmerman hopes a turnaround is in the works defensively.
“When we’re at our best, we play really well and when we don’t, teams score on us,” Zimmerman said. “We’ve been solid defensively, but we struggled to stop them tonight because we didn’t have that extra ‘oomph’ that we normally have.”
Crookston will try to get over .500 on Saturday, February 10 when they host Bemidji at 2:30 p.m.