MOORHEAD — Some might have called it ugly. Others, old school.
Pelican Rapids, though, got to call it a win.
Crookston girls' basketball lost to the seventh-ranked Vikings, 32-27, on Saturday evening in a Section 8AA game during the Heart O' Lakes Conference Showcase at Moorhead High School. The Pirates fell to 16-4 overall and 8-4 in section play, while the Vikings improved to 20-0 and 14-0 respectively.
The Pirates came in prepared for a physical, defensive battle between the two top defenses in the section. But just how physical and defensive the game would turn out to be wasn't quite clear immediately.
Pelican Rapids took a 6-0 lead in the first two minutes, finding success in transition and driving inside. Crookston settled down after a timeout, though, and allowed just five points the rest of the half.
The problem — the Pirates scored even less. An Emma Boll (Jr., F) layup six minutes into the game was their only field goal of the first half. Open looks were far and few between for both teams, and with that scarcity, the Vikings' 11-4 halftime lead felt larger than it was.
The game opened up in the second half, but only slightly. Hayden Winjum (So., G) sparked Crookston's offense with a series of crafty drives to the rim, while Greta Tollefson and Anna Stevenson had success scoring inside for Pelican Rapids.
Both teams held serve in the second half, and with a comfy 30-17 lead in hand, Pelican Rapids slowed the game to a crawl. But the Pirates had one last push: Jenna Coauette (So., G) nailed a 3-pointer — their first of the game — and Kasey Cwikla (Sr., F) and Halle Winjum (8, G) cut it to seven on layups. Halle Winjum banked in a three with 13 seconds left to make it 32-27, but Crookston couldn't get the ball back.
Hayden Winjum scored 10 points, while Halle Winjum scored five. Coauette scored five, Cwikla scored four, Boll scored two and Abby Borowicz (Fr., G) scored one for the Pirates, who were missing starters Emma Borowicz (Jr., G) and Gretchen Theis (Sr., G), out with a knee injury and an illness, respectively.
Tollefson and Stevenson had 12 and nine for the Vikings. Chloe Paulson and Karina Torres scored four points apiece and Maddie Guler scored three.
UP NEXT: Crookston travels to Section 8AA opponent Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on Monday. The Rebels are 6-13, 3-10 in section play.
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 email@example.com.
Follow along on Twitter @CroxTimesSports and @Jacob_Shames for all the latest stories and live game updates.