Pirates fall to Roseau, 75-65, in tale-of-two-halves home opener
Crookston and Roseau combined to score 41 points in the first half. Both teams exceeded that total themselves in the second half.
While Tuesday's game was an extreme example, Pirate coach Greg Garmen expects the general trend to continue. After a long, COVID-affected offseason, teams are likely to struggle to get rolling, both over the course of the season and in individual games.
"Every game I watch online, everybody's just sort of out of rhythm right now," Garmen said. "It will take a while to get rhythm going for everybody. Not just us.
"But they had a little more rhythm and hit a few more shots, had some run-outs, and that I thought really hurt us."
Roseau was slightly better in both halves Tuesday night, beating Crookston 75-65 to spoil the Pirates' home opener. The difference wasn't much: the Rams, who played from ahead almost all night, just had an answer for every Pirate push.
The first 18 minutes were marked by sloppy play all around: lots of turnovers, missed shots and 18 combined fouls. While Roseau (2-1) went into the locker room up 23-18, the general flow of the half, or lack thereof, meant that it was still anyone's game.
The Pirates (0-2) were the first to send the message that the second half would be different — much different. They scored seven straight points to tie it at 25, sparked by two and-1 layups in transition, and senior guard Easton Tangquist drilled two 3-pointers to give Crookston a 31-30 lead four minutes in.
"Easton has not been shooting well and he finally shot alright," Garmen said. "That was good to see him finally go. We need him to be able to score for us."
But Roseau took the lead for good shortly after, and extended it to as many as nine points later in the second half, building its lead mainly via transition points, clutch shots and a rebounding advantage. Jed Dunham and Jeremiah Bender, who combined for 47 points for the game, were the main culprits.
"We gotta defend better and we gotta rebound a lot better," Garmen said. "We're not a big team, and we gotta have kids who go get boards. It's such a tall man's game, we're not very tall man-for-man, so it's gonna be a challenge."
The Pirates never stopped pushing, coming within two possessions on several occasions. Tangquist, who scored a game-high 26 points, kept his team afloat with drives to the rim, while junior guard Jack Garmen (20 points) nailed a series of big 3-pointers.
"It was good to see a number of our kids finally got over it after our game at East Side," Garmen said, referring to Crookston's 70-47 loss to the Green Wave in Friday's season opener. "We didn't shoot well collectively as a team, and we had a few who shot pretty well tonight."
But the Rams had a response for everything. A 3-pointer by Bender made it 47-38 with 9:30 to play, following a Pirate basket. An inside basket off an offensive rebound by Wyatt Aronson, followed by a fast break, made it a 10-point game with 6:42 to play.
Tangquist knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 69-63 in the final minute, but it was to no avail. Roseau was clutch from the stripe, knocking down 18 free throws in the second half, enabling it to seal the victory.
The initial 18 minutes and the final 18 minutes were about as dissimilar as two halves of basketball can be. It's still early in the season, and at this point, most teams need their time adjusting.
That doesn't mean Garmen wasn't hoping for a better start.
"We didn't really heat up until the second half," Garmen said. "... Slow starts are gonna be tough if we can't get going better than what we did tonight."
UP NEXT: The Pirates host Climax-Fisher Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The Knights are coming off a 2-23 season and are 0-2 this year, with losses to Ada-Borup West and Win-E-Mac.
Last season, Crookston beat Climax-Fisher 69-59 in Fisher. In that game, senior Caden Osborn grabbed 22 rebounds to break the Pirates' single-game rebounding record.
- Points: Easton Tangquist 26, Jack Garmen 20, Carter Bruggeman 9, Brooks Butt 4, Jacob Miller 4, Tristen Luckow 2
- Points: Jed Dunham 24, Jeremiah Bender 23, Peter VandeWege 9, David Nelson 8, Clive Gordon 3, Maverick Jacobson 3, Tyler Dirks 2, Wyatt Aronson 2, Garon Schumacher 1
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