It wasn't always easy, but Crookston girls' basketball improved to 7-0 with a 56-27 win over Barnesville on Tuesday night in Crookston.

"We handled ourselves well against a good Barnesville team that is well-coached and physical," said Pirates head coach Darin Zimmerman.

Crookston led just 23-17 at halftime before outscoring the Trojans 33-10 in the second half.

"We knew that if we did just a few things better, it would lead to good things," Zimmerman said of his halftime message to his team.

The Pirates got off to a fast start, leading 10-1 after five minutes, but went cold offensively. Barnesville came back to take the lead at 12-10 with four minutes to go before halftime — the latest in a game Crookston has trailed this season.

However, the Pirates rebounded to take a six-point halftime lead and flew out of the gates in the second half, starting on a 13-2 run and finishing on a 15-2 run.

Dani Boyle (Sr., G) was Crookston's leading scorer with 16 points while hitting three 3-pointers. Gretchen Theis (Sr., G) scored 12 while Hayden Winjum (So., G) added 11.

"Dani was awesome tonight," Zimmerman said. "I thought she showed a lot of toughness and played great D and made some very big shots for us."

The Pirates are off to their best start through seven games since 2006-07, when they won their first nine games. They went on to finish with a 24-3 record that year and lost in the Section 8AA championship game to Barnesville.

"Our girls have really done a nice job of focusing on what is right in front of them," Zimmerman said. "They don't let yesterday take up too much of today."

UP NEXT: Crookston heads north to Roseau on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. The Pirates and Rams played in the Section 8AA championship game last spring, with Roseau winning, 73-58.

Roseau has won the last five section titles.

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