Crookston storms back to beat Perham, 60-43, Zimmerman gets 100th win
For 18 minutes, it seemed like the Crookston girls' basketball team still hadn't recovered from its loss to Barnesville last Saturday.
Turns out that was a false alarm.
The Pirates came back from a nine-point halftime deficit with a 21-0 run to begin the second half, storming past Perham, 60-43, Thursday night in Perham.
The win was the 100th career win for Darin Zimmerman, who's in his sixth season as Crookston's head coach. Zimmerman coached the Pirates' junior high team before beginning his head coaching career at Hancock, where he coached from 2012-15, and has a record of 72-78 with the Pirates.
"There are many people who have made win 100 possible," he said. "My wife Leah, the school administration, parents, (then-Crookston girls' basketball head coach) Lon Boike, who first gave me an opportunity as a 20-year-old college kid with zero coaching experience. But mostly, the players. They are why I do it and have been blessed to be able to work with such great people."
Crookston fans held up signs commemorating the milestone win after the final buzzer sounded, some congratulating Zimmerman on the accomplishment and some simply showing his face.
"It felt nice to see all the support from the parents and fans," Zimmerman said. "We have a great community and a great parent group, so I feel very fortunate to be able to coach here."
At first, it didn't appear that the night would be celebratory for the Pirates (9-3, 7-3 Section 8AA). The Yellowjackets took a 10-3 lead and, after an Emma Borowicz 3-pointer tied it at 14, ended the half with a 9-0 run over the final five minutes.
But Crookston came out a totally different team after intermission, taking a 35-23 lead seven minutes into the half behind 10 points from Borowicz. Perham (8-4, 8-5) ended the surge with a run of its own but never got closer than five points, and the Pirates spent the final minutes extending their lead.
"After halftime we settled down and ran offense better, so we just got better looks," Zimmerman said. "Defensively, we were good in the first half, but we didn't really challenge them much. In the second half, we did, and that's the way we want to play."
Crookston's 46-point second half is tied for its highest-scoring half of the season. The Pirates scored 46 first-half points in a 73-29 win over Roseau on Jan. 26.
Borowicz hit four 3-pointers and scored 23 points, the second-highest point total of her senior year, with 18 of them coming after halftime. Halle Winjum added 11, going a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line, and Hayden Winjum chipped in with nine.
Sydney Anderson and Willow Thiel led the Yellowjackets with 11 points apiece.
UP NEXT: The Pirates will be back in Crookston to face Hawley (7-5, 7-5) on Tuesday, March 2. The Nuggets beat the Pirates twice last season, and sit in second place in Section 8AA North behind them this year.
- Points: Emma Borowicz 23, Halle Winjum 11, Hayden Winjum 9, Emma Boll 7, Abby Borowicz 5, Emma Osborn 5
- Team: 18 field goals, seven 3-pointers, 17-21 free throws
- Points: Sydney Anderson 11, Willow Thiel 11, Katie Johnson 10, Stella Raser 8, Mya Morris 3
- Team: 17 field goals, five 3-pointers, 4-8 free throws
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