After three straight losses against top competition, Crookston boys' basketball relished the chance to rebound against a one-win Park Rapids Area team, and did just that with a 71-60 win in Park Rapids on Monday night.
The Pirates improved to 5-7 overall and 3-6 in Section 8AA play, while the Panthers dropped to 1-12 and 0-8.
Crookston got out to a 21-4 lead thanks to some hot shooting, with Jack Garmen (Jr., G), Walker Winjum (Sr., G), Brady Butt (Sr., F) and Caden Osborn (Sr., C) all knocking down 3-pointers against Park Rapids' zone defense.
"We got off to a good start by getting shots in rhythm," said Pirates head coach Greg Garmen. "Our kids moved the ball and that led to some open shots for kids and they knocked them down."
The Panthers bounced back, going on a 10-1 run towards the end of the half before Crookston righted the ship to take a 36-27 lead into halftime.
Park Rapids had perhaps its best chance to get back in the game when Osborn, the Pirates' leading scorer and rebounder, had to sit due to foul trouble in the second half.
It looked like the Panthers would do so, cutting their deficit to eight points midway through. However, Crookston immediately went on a 10-2 run, sparked by important contributions from Butt and Jacob Hesby (So., G)."Brady Butt played some great minutes for us when Caden picked up a couple of quick fouls to start the second half," Garmen said. "Jacob Hesby also played some key minutes off the bench for us." The Pirates were led by 17 points from Jack Garmen, 15 points from Carter Bruggeman (Jr., G), 14 points from Easton Tangquist (Jr., G) and 12 points from Osborn. Greg Garmen said good ball movement was what enabled Crookston to have four players in double-figures scoring. Nick Michaelson led Park Rapids with 16 points. UP NEXT: Crookston will travel to Oklee on Thursday, Jan. 16 to play Red Lake County. The Rebels, from Section 8A, are 8-3 on the season. The Times welcomes your feedback. You can send any comments or questions to our office at (218) 281-2730, Jacob Shames (405) 496-0168 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow along on Twitter @CroxTimesSports and @Jacob_Shames for all the latest stories and live game updates.