With more patience on offense, Pirates pull away from EGF for 52-24 win

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Emma Borowicz in a game against Warroad on Saturday, Jan. 16. Borowicz scored 17 points in Crookston's 52-24 win at East Grand Forks Thursday.

Often, when their team is struggling to score, coaches will implore their players to dump the ball inside. Stop taking tough shots from long distance. Just get it down low, grind out some close baskets and get to the free-throw line.

Thursday night, the Crookston girls' basketball team had the opposite problem: they were going inside too much.

But after an uneven first half, the Pirates righted the ship, using a 31-9 second half advantage to beat rival East Grand Forks, 52-24, in East Grand Forks and improve to 5-1 on the season.

While three first-half 3-pointers by Emma Borowicz (Sr., G) kept Crookston afloat in the first half, it went into halftime with just 21 points on the board. It was the Pirates' second-lowest scoring half of the entire season, and the lowest that didn't involve running time.

"We were too impatient in the first and tried to get the ball inside too quick," said coach Darin Zimmerman.

Crookston came out of the break with more patience, showing a willingness to break down the Green Wave defense and manufacture open outside shots. 

It didn't immediately pay off, as EGF (1-3) got within two points midway through the second half. But the Pirates ended the game on a dominating 26-0 run, propelled by hot shooting and a defense that was as stingy as usual.

Borowicz finished with 17 points, continuing her hot streak. She scored 27 points and knocked down five 3-pointers in a 73-29 win over Roseau on Tuesday, and drilled four more triples Thursday.

Halle Winjum (Fr., G) scored 10 points and Emma Osborn (Jr., G) added eight for the Pirates.

Since allowing 63 points in a season-opening overtime loss to Breckenridge, Crookston has given up an average of just 25.8 points over its last five games. The Pirates currently lead Section 8AA in scoring defense (31.8).

In Class AA as a whole, just two teams — Providence Academy and Spectrum — have played at least one game and allowed fewer points on average than Crookston.

The Pirates' point differential of plus-29.2 also leads Section 8AA, and ranks fifth in the entirety of Class AA. Their scoring offense (61.0 points per game) ranks second in their section behind Hawley (61.2).

Thursday's win was the Pirates' fifth straight win over the Green Wave.

UP NEXT: Crookston will be at home Monday, Feb. 1 to take on Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (1-3) in a Section 8AA North game. The Pirates beat the Rebels, 67-60, in Glyndon in last year's matchup between the two teams.

BOX SCORE

Crookston 21-31—52

East Grand Forks 15-9—24

CROOKSTON STATS

  • Points: Emma Borowicz 17, Halle Winjum 10, Emma Osborn 8, Abby Borowicz 4, Emma Boll 4, Jenna Coauette 4, Hayden Winjum 3, Ally Perreault 2
  • Team: 20 field goals, seven 3-pointers, 5-12 free throws

EAST GRAND FORKS STATS

  • Points: Kadynn Melquist 8, Brynn Havis 6, Maddy Manger 3, Alison Kovar 2, Caitlin Hovde 2, Ella Eggers 2, Hanah Jensen-Selnes 1
  • Team: nine field goals, three 3-pointers, 3-5 free throws

The Times welcomes your feedback. You can send any comments or questions to our office at (218) 281-2730 or sports editor Jacob Shames at jshames@crookstontimes.com.

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