Girls' Basketball Stomps Thief River Falls, Loses to Moorhead

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The Crookston Pirates girls’ basketball team opened its 2021-22 season with a close loss to Moorhead on Thursday and convincing win against Thief River Falls on Friday. 

The Pirates were able to bounce back from their opening loss to Moorhead with a 58-34 win against the Prowlers. 

Crookston never trailed and they bested TRF in every statistic. Most impressively, the Pirates shot 50 percent from beyond the arc, while the Prowlers shot just 23 percent.  

Emma Osborn, who led the team with 19 points, made four of her five three-point attempts. After an uncharacteristic 7-point game against Moorhead, Osborn let her nerves go and just played. 

“I didn’t play my best game yesterday, but today I played a lot better,” Osborn said. “Yesterday being the first game, I had a lot of nerves built up. Today, it felt a lot better to get those nerves out.” 

After the first half, the Pirates led 42-10, allowing head coach Darin Zimmerman to experiment with substitutes the rest of the game. 

“It was great to play everybody,” Zimmerman said. “We are still working on rotations, carving out different roles for people. Being able to try some different things and getting everybody some time is really what it’s all about, and it’s fun when that happens.” 

Despite a strong overall performance, the one area that the Pirates lacked in was turnovers. The Prowlers had 10 steals and 21 points from turnovers.  

“We just got a little lackadaisical,” Zimmerman said. “Usually we talk about 36, a full 36 no matter the circumstances. We played a really good game and we want to finish it strong.” 

Aside from Osborn’s 19-point performance, Hayden and Halle Winjum added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Halle Winjum got 6 of her points by shooting 100 percent from the free throw line. Abby Borowicz dominated defensively with 4 defensive rebounds and 4 steals. Halle Winjum and Osborn added three more steals apiece. 

The night before, Crookston dropped its season-opening game 43-48 against Moorhead. Despite the loss, Zimmerman was proud of his team for their want and will to win. 

“Everybody wanted to win, no question,” Zimmerman said. “Everybody competed hard. I’m not going to fault their effort. They did everything they could do in terms of exertion, but we just came up empty.” 

While Crookston held Moorhead to under 50 points, Moorhead’s defense was just slightly better. The Spuds limited the Pirates to shooting just 30 percent from the field.  

“They did a really good job of mixing up their aggressive man-to-man and going into that zone and three-quarter to half-court trap,” Zimmerman said. “Give Moorhead credit for playing great defense. They took out of us what we wanted to do offensively, and we have to fix that.” 

The two teams battled back and forth before Crookston took a lead in the latter part of the half. It seemed that they would take that lead into the locker room, but Moorhead fought their way back to lead 23-22 after the first 18 minutes.  

The second half was just as close as the first. The last couple minutes came down to which team could convert their free throws after being fouled, and Moorhead edged Crookston 69 percent to 58 percent. 

Halle Winjum led the team with 20 points and 3 assists. Jenna Coauette and Hayden Winjum had four steals apiece, while Coauette had 9 points offensively. Both Winjums and Osborn crashed the boards for 3 rebounds apiece. 

The girls’ team continues its stretch of home games with another contest on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against Red Lake Falls.  

Abby Borowicz dribbles passed a defender.
Ally Perreault fights for a rebound.
Halle Winjum, who led the Pirates Thursday with 20 points, puts up a three-pointer.
Hayden Winjum drives to the basket.
Jenna Coauette makes a shot from beyond the arc.