Crookston's record drops to 10-3.
HIBBING - Crookston scored their least amount of points in a game this season, and the Hibbing Bluejackets beat the Pirates 46-30.
The Pirates trailed by six at halftime, but the 14th-ranked AAA Bluejackets pulled away in the second half to hand Crookston their third loss of the season.
“Got to give Hibbing credit,” Head Coach Darin Zimmerman said. “They played a really good defensive game. They contested shots and they’re really big. They have some length and they use it really well on defense. But with that said, we had some opportunities. We’ve just got to finish some possessions.”
Emma Borowicz (So. G) led the way in points for the Pirates (10-3) with 11. Kasey Cwikla (Jr. G) added eight off the bench, Gretchen Theis (Jr. G) scored four as did Hayden Winjum (Fr. G), Rachel Hefta (Sr. F) put up two and Dani Boyle (Jr. G) hit a free throw.
Hibbing (11-2) used productive contributions from Abbey McDonald (Sr. G) and McKenzie Maki (Sr. F) who scored 14 and 12 respectively.
Crookston stayed in the game during the first half with defensive play. Hibbing made a trio of threes compared to Crookston’s one, and the Pirates went 2-for-8 from the charity stripe.
“I thought, defensively, we were good,” Zimmerman said. “We certainly played well enough to win. We contested shots, and even with [Hibbing’s] size, we didn’t give up a ton of offensive rebounds.”
After trailing 23-17 at the half, the Pirates’ defense stayed competitive allowing the same amount of points, 23, in half number two. However, Crookston only scored 13 of their own.
Crookston scored less than 40 for the fourth time this season. The Pirates own a record of 1-3 when held to that mark.
“I thought we started the second half really well,” Zimmerman said. “We came out and got a handful of stops. We just didn’t convert on the offensive end. One or two buckets would’ve made a big difference.”
Still within striking distance at eight minutes to go, Jacie Clusiau (So. G) and Maki each hit a trey to put distance between them and the Pirates. Hibbing expanded further on their lead and went on to win 46-30.
The loss served as Crookston’s first in a true road game this season.
The Pirates will return home on Monday, January 14 to face Badger-Greenbush-Middle River. Tip-off is set for 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.