BAGLEY — Crookston boys’ basketball followed its best offensive game of the season with one of its worst.
Coming off a 91-62 win over Roseau last Thursday, the Pirates couldn’t find the range against Bagley, dropping a pivotal section game 69-51 on Tuesday.
The Flyers, who had previously beaten the Pirates 77-60 in Crookston on Dec. 3, took a 13-4 lead within five minutes, and didn't trail by less than six points for the rest of the game.
Crookston (9-16 overall, 6-12 Section 8AA) struggled all afternoon with Bagley’s zone, which effectively neutralized leading scorer, Caden Osborn. The senior center was held to eight points — less than half of his season average — as the Flyers cut off the Pirates’ post game.
In response, Crookston tried to attack the Flyers (10-15, 3-6) by running offense through Carter Bruggeman (Jr., G) in the high post and Walker Winjum (Sr., G) but could only do so for stretches at a time. Its shots simply weren’t falling.
“We had good looks from outside,” said Crookston coach Greg Garmen. “Just did not make them.”
Winjum kept the Pirates afloat in the first half, going on a 6-0 run all by himself to come within 24-18 midway through the first half. But Bagley stepped back on the gas pedal to extend its lead to 32-22 at halftime.
The Flyers surged out of the gate in the second half, hitting three 3-pointers to go up by 18. Crookston had an answer, going on a mini 7-2 run, but got no closer, giving up a 9-0 run due to three consecutive turnovers when Bagley started to press on defense.
“That was when the tide turned for good,” Garmen said. “We could not recover from that.”
The Pirates remained ice-cold from outside until Jacob Hesby (So., G) offered a bright spot late, knocking down a trio of 3-pointers in the final minutes, but all the momentum had been long since lost. The Flyers led by as many as 26 in the second half.
Winjum scored 15 points and Hesby scored nine for the game. Bruggeman scored eight, as did Osborn, and Jack Garmen (So., G) and Easton Tangquist (Jr., G) added four apiece. Karsten Isaacson (Jr., F) scored three.
Bagley had four players score in double figures, led by Kenly Gordon with 17.
“We needed to defend the dribble better,” Garmen said. “That is something that we will need to work on as we prep for our last game and tourney time.”
UP NEXT: Crookston finishes off its regular season by taking on Ada-Borup on Friday at home. The Cougars come in with a 23-1 record.
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