OKLEE — Crookston boys' basketball scored the game's first 13 points, but fell to Red Lake County, 81-64, on Thursday night as the Rebels went on two separate surges at the end of each half.
The Pirates fell to 5-8, while Red Lake County improved to 10-3.
"They had an answer for everything," said Crookston head coach Greg Garmen.
Crookston started out hot from the perimeter, hitting four 3-pointers on the way to a 20-6 lead while putting the pressure on with a full-court trap defense.
However, the Pirates couldn't stay out of foul trouble, committing 10 in the first half. When Caden Osborn (Sr., C), Crookston's leading scorer and rebounder, went to the bench midway through the half, the Rebels seized the moment and got hot themselves, ending the first half on a 30-12 run.
"We gave up four rebounds that we should have had," Garmen said, pointing to a defining possession late in the first half. "That's when the momentum swung."
In the second half, Derek Peterson and Eric Gieseke were unstoppable for the Rebels, getting into the lane at will and knocking down shots from outside. Crookston tried to make headway, but was unable to do so with Peterson and Gieseke's dominance and Osborn still in foul trouble.
"We gotta board better," Garmen said. "That's sorta been our trouble lately, just not rebounding like we should. ... We don't have guys that will get to the hoop like (Peterson and Gieseke) do, and we're always shooting outside shots and they're in the lane."
The Rebels led 65-58 with five minutes to play after a Carter Bruggeman (Jr., G) basket, but immediately went on an 8-0 run that essentially ended the game.
Bruggeman led the Pirates with 18 points, while Caden Osborn (Sr., C) added 16. Jack Garmen (Jr., G) scored 14, Easton Tangquist (Jr., G) scored 10 and Walker Winjum (Sr., G) scored six.
Peterson and Gieseke led Red Lake with 20 and 17 points respectively.
UP NEXT: Crookston was scheduled to play Wadena-Deer Creek on Friday night at home, but that game was postponed to Feb. 1. Instead, the Pirates' next game is at Barnesville on Jan. 21.
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