A hot shooting start was not enough to propel the Crookston Pirates Boy’s Basketball team past the Hawley Nuggets as Crookston fell 84-62 in a North Sub-Section 8AA matchup at the Crookston High School Gym.
Crookston got off to a fast start at the offensive end thanks to four first-half three-pointers from Nick Garmen. After Hawley scored the games first points with a lay-up off an offensive rebound, Garmen answered at the other end with a three-pointer off an assist from Caden Osborn giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead. Hawley responded with four-straight points before Osborn set up Garmen for another triple tying the game at 6-6. The Nuggets scored four-straight points again, but this time Osborn connected from deep bring Crookston back within one. Jaden Lubarski kicked a pass into the corner for Nick Garmen on the Pirates next possession where he buried his third three-pointer giving Crookston a 12-10 lead. Hawley countered with two-straight baskets to claim a 14-12 lead, but a Brady Butt offensive rebound and put-back lay-up tied the game at 14-14. Trailing 16-14, Nick Garmen made his fourth three-pointer of the half giving the Pirates a 17-16 lead before Walker Winjum connected on a shot beyond the arc giving Crookston a 20-16 lead. “We got out and pushed the ball up the floor and found open shooters,” said Crookston head coach Greg Garmen. “Our shooters were hitting, but I’d say we shot the ball better in the first half than the second.” The Nuggets tied the game at 20-20, and both sides traded baskets to 36-36 after a Josh Bernia three-pointer tied the game going into the final minutes of the first half. Hawley closed the half on a 6-0 run capped off by a Jacob Vetter offensive rebound and lay-up giving the Nuggets a 42-36 halftime lead. “We had the turnover at the half,” said Garmen of Hawley’s close to the half. “We were going for one shot and had the turnover and then the foul so they’re shooting a free throw. We give up the free throw box out, and that’s something we’ve struggled with all year. We’ve got to clean that up as well because if we don’t, it’s going to be tough.”
In the second half, Walker Winjum took a steal to the other end and scored a lay-up bringing Crookston within 42-38. It proved to be the closest the Pirates would get the rest of the night. The Nuggets scored four-straight points to stake a 46-38 lead. Later, an Osborn lay-up cut the Crookston deficit down to 51-43. Leading 58-48, Hawley used an 11-7 run including a steal and lay-up scored by Jayden Carlisle giving the visitor’s a 69-55 lead. The Nuggets closed the game with 15-7 run as their high-pressure defense resulted in several Crookston turnovers converted into fast-break points as Hawley closed out an 84-62 win. “(Jayden Carlisle) started going off and beating us,” said Garmen. “Their two bigs, we didn’t do a good job keeping them in check on the boards. I don’t know what they ended up with, but it seemed like they were always around the basket on both ends of the floor. It’s tough for us to score against bigger kids and they were scoring at will in the paint, we needed to keep them out of the paint. (The defense) hasn’t been there much this year, so we need to shore that up. We moved the ball well, early on in the first half and were playing with confidence. In the second half, I thought we lost our spirit a bit and needed to keep playing hard and didn’t at times and that hurts.”
Crookston falls to 3-6 overall and returns to the court Friday when the Pirates host Fertile-Beltrami at 7:30 p.m. with the Riverview Health pregame show beginning at 7 p.m. on KROX. Hawley improves to 9-1.
|1st Half||2nd Half||Final|
|Caden Osborn||20||11||2 assists|
|Nick Garmen||19||4||2 steals|
|Walker Winjum||7||3 assists/2 steals|
|Jaden Lubarski||7||3||2 assists|
|Josh Bernia||6||3||2 assists|