Dani Boyle led the charge with a season-high 13 points.
A season-high 11 Pirates scored in a single game and Crookston extended their win streak to four in a row with a 66-39 victory over the Warroad Warriors.
Leading the scoring, for the first time this season, was Dani Boyle (Jr. G) with 13 points. The Pirates’ overall leading scorer on the year, Emma Borowicz (So. G), finished with 12. After Boyle and Borowicz, Gretchen Theis (Jr. G) notched eight, Jenna Coauette (Fr. G), Hayden Winjum (Fr. G) and Rachel Hefta (Sr. F) each collected six, Kylie Solheim (Sr. G) added five, Emma Boll (Jr. F) tallied four, Kasey Cwikla (Jr. G) totaled three, Halle Winjum (7th Grade G) put up two and Madison Hoiland (Fr. F) hit a free throw.
“We always talk about how you got to prepare the same way all the time,” Head Coach Darin Zimmerman said. “We really focused on some things this last couple days after the Red Lake Falls game. So that was the mind set coming in that we have to do those things really well and improve in those areas. I think we took a big step forward in those areas.”
Warroad put themselves on the board first, but the lead lasted just over two minutes. Down 3-2, Borowicz drove to the rim, earned the basket and drew the foul. Following Borowicz’s free throw, Hefta knocked down a pair of shots from the charity stripe and added a layup, Winjum sank a three and Boyle scored seven points in a two-minute span alone to help Crookston to a 19-3 lead.
The Pirates continued to build until they found themselves ahead 45-14 at halftime, their largest lead at the intermission all season.
Zimmerman saw the score as an opportunity to rest his starters and give his reserves a chance to earn some in-game experience. The bench for the Pirates scored 24 points in the contest, their highest mark of the year.
After handling nearly the entire second half, Zimmerman praised his bench for their performance.
“They made the most of their opportunity,” Zimmerman said. “They did all the things that we expected out of our first eight kids that played in the game. Warroad did a nice job in the second half, made some shots and they did things offensively that gave us a few fits. But I thought our kids did a good job of handling it once they got over the nerves of playing.”
In their four games thus far, the Pirates outscored their opponents by 114 points and won by an average of 28.5 points per game. Their closest battle came in the opener against Sacred Heart where Crookston won by 10.
With limited experience in crunch time situations this season, Zimmerman does not anticipate any struggles when it comes time to close out a tight game in the final minutes.
“Eventually, probably very soon, it will be a close game and we’ll get tested in new ways that we haven’t been tested yet,” Zimmerman said. “One of the areas we looked at was that we had to be in a little bit more control of the way that we played. We rushed a few too many things [against Red Lake Falls] and we wanted to be more controlled tonight and I think that we did that.”
Up next for Crookston, the season’s first matchup against rival East Grand Forks. Last year, the Green Wave defeated the Pirates four times, one of which ended Crookston’s season in the first round of the section tournament. The two teams square off in Crookston on Tuesday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Follow live game updates for Pirates and Golden Eagles on Twitter: @CroxTimesSports or Snapchat: crookstontimes1.
For feedback or questions, contact the Times at (218) 281-2730, Nolan Beilstein at (940) 372-8175 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.