Girls' Basketball Has High Hopes for Season
The Crookston Pirates girls’ basketball team started practice for the 2021-22 season on Monday, November 15 at Crookston High School.
Last year the girls finished with an impressive 15-4 record, but got knocked out of playoffs in the section quarterfinals by Barnesville.
This year, head coach Darin Zimmerman has lots of girls with experience returning, so he has high expectations for the team.
“This is an experienced group,” Zimmerman said. “In all honesty, it might be the most experienced group that I’ve returned back here, so we have high expectations. Traditionally we do every year. We want to compete, game in and game out and really see a progression throughout the season.”
Part of last year’s success was due to the defense, which is something Zimmerman hopes remains strong this season.
“We played really good defense last year,” Zimmerman said. “We were near the top of the state, or maybe even led the state in scoring defense. That is something to be proud of.”
In addition to defense, senior captain Hayden Winjum said the team’s success also comes from its tight-knit bond.
“We should continue our chemistry from last season,” Winjum said. “A lot of these girls have been playing since third grade, so keep that chemistry and positivity and it should be a good season.”
Although a lot of the older, more experienced girls have played together for a couple years, senior captain Emma Osborn also wants to make sure the younger girls feel included as well.
“We are super close as a team, but some younger kids are coming up,” Osborn said. “We need to welcome those kids in and be better together.”
While last year’s team was good, Winjum knows there are some areas that need improvement.
“Team and personal, I need to work on communication,” Winjum said. “That’s really important in basketball. Otherwise, I think we are going to have to work on boxing out and crashing the boards because we aren’t super big this year.”
The Pirates look to continue their winning ways from last season as they have their first game against Moorhead at home on December 2.