The Crookston Pirate Girls Basketball team won a hard-fought battle and held off a late rally by the Red Lake Falls Eagles in a 70-59 victory in a game played at Robert Matzke Gymnasium in Red Lake Falls.

Red Lake Falls opened the scoring with a Gabby Casavan basket over a minute into the game. Crookston’s Gretchen Theis answered by scoring four straight points before the Eagles’ Clara Girdler answered with an old fashion three-point play for a 5-4 lead over four minutes into the game. Crookston’s defense forced some turnovers and that led to an 8-0 run with two free throws from Theis (she scored the first six points of the game for Crookston), an offensive rebound and basket for Emma Boll and Halle Winjum ended the run with back-to-back baskets for a 12-5 lead. Crookston slowly built on their lead and took a 22-11 lead halfway through the half after Abby Borowicz made a three-pointer. “We did a lot of things well in the first half of the first half,” said Pirate Coach Darin Zimmerman. “We played good defense, we executed on the offensive end and were playing well.” The teams played even the rest of the half and Crookston took a 37-28 lead into halftime. “Red Lake Falls did some nice things against us late in the first half,” said Coach Zimmerman. Red Lake Falls Coach Brian Remick said he was happy with how his team finished the half after a slow start. “I thought we played better as the half went along. It is tough to replicate what Crookston can do in practice so it was nice to see the girls work hard and finish the half strong.”

Red Lake Falls started the second half like they started the game with Sienna Olson scoring the first basket to bring the Eagles within a 37-30 deficit. Crookston responded with 12-0 run with five different players (Kasey Cwikla, Dani Boyle, Emma Borowicz, Gretchen Theis and Hayden Winjum) scoring in the run for a 49-30 lead with 13 minutes left in the game. Red Lake Falls finally stopped the run with a Clara Girdler basket and that sparked a 6-0 Eagle run with Girdler scoring back-to-back baskets and Olson had a steal for a layup and with 11:35 left in the game Crookston’s lead was cut to 49-36, forcing a Pirate time out. “The girls got after it on the defensive end,” said RLF Coach Remick. “We used the defense to get some baskets in that stretch and that was nice to see.” The teams exchanged baskets over a five or six-minute span, but the shot that made you think it was Crookston’s night was when Abby Borowicz banked in a three-pointer from the left-wing halfway through the half. “They have girls that can hit shots,” said Coach Remick. “Crookston will probably be the best shooting team we see this year and when they banked that three in you knew it was going to be tough to beat them.”
Crookston led 60-44 with seven minutes to go in the game when Red Lake Falls went on a 7-0 run with Olson, Girdler and Gabby Cassavan all scoring to get within single digits (60-51) with over three minutes left in the game. After some Crookston baskets, Red Lake Falls went on a 6-0 run and with less than a minute left in the game they trailed 66-59, but Crookston hit their free throws the rest of the way and held on for a 70-59 victory. “We had some stretches where we played really good basketball and there were some other stretches that we didn’t play very well,” said Pirate Coach Zimmerman. “You have to give credit to Red Lake Falls because they are a very good team and played hard. It was a good opponent for us and they made us work for everything tonight.” Red Lake Falls Coach Brian Remick was also happy with his team’s effort, “You can’t fault the girls for their effort tonight. They played hard and worked hard all game. We made too many mistakes against a very good team and that came back to hurt us tonight.”
Crookston improves to 3-0 on the year and will travel to Warroad on Friday. Red Lake Falls drops to 1-2 on the year.
J.V. – Crookston won 40-26

  1st  2nd  Final
Crookston 37 33 70
Red Lake Falls 28 31 59


For Crookston Points Rebound Steals/Assists
Gretchen Theis 13 5 2 assists
Kasey Cwikla 11 4
Halle Winjum 10 5 2 steals/2 assists
Abby Borowicz 8
Dani Boyle 7 2 assists
Hayden Winjum 7 6 6 steals/3 assists
Emma Boll 6
Emma Borowicz 5 6 4 steals/2 assists
Jenna Coauette 3


For Red Lake Falls Points
Sienna Olson 22
Clara Girdler 21
Gabby Casavan 10
Olivia Bulger 3
Maisey Hoefer 2