Senior guard Julian Benson scored 49 points leading the East Grand Forks Green Wave past the Crookston Pirates Boy’s basketball team 107-71 in a Section 8AA game played at the Crookston High School Gymnasium.

Crookston started the game with a pair of technical free-throws after East Grand Forks’ Nathan Willett dunked during warm-ups. Caden Osborn split the two free-throws, and Crookston began with the ball and 1-0 lead before the game started. It would be the Pirates’ only lead of the night. Willett threw down a two-handed dunk that couldn’t be penalized, giving the Green Wave a 2-1 lead. Sam Votava brought down an offensive rebound on EGF’s next possession and finished with a lay-up giving East Side a 4-1 lead. Caden Osborn tied the game with a three-pointer before Danny Willett regained the lead for the Green Wave with a steal and another dunk. Julian Benson scored the first of his 49 points with a lay-up through a foul extending the visitors’ lead to 10-4. Trailing 22-14, Jack Garmen made a three-pointer bringing Crookston within 22-16. Later in the half, Julian Benson scored another and-one adding his free-throw extending East Grand Forks’ lead to 39-31. Jack Garmen started a 9-1 run bringing the Pirates within 41-39. The Green Wave closed the half on an 8-0 run taking a 49-39 lead into halftime. “We were right there,” said Crookston head coach Greg Garmen. “We had the technical to start the game and didn’t capitalize. We made one (free-throw), and then I look up, and it’s 1-4. The last-minute, they had eight unanswered, and that didn’t help us. We weathered the storm with some foul trouble. We knew they were going to pressure us the whole time, and we didn’t do a good job handling that. The 8-0 run certainly took the wind out of our sails. We had a little momentum going, and then that happens. It was always going to be tough overcoming ten (point deficit).”

In the second half, East Grand Forks added to its lead early and never looked back. Jack Garmen made a three-pointer early in the half trimming East Grand Forks’ deficit down to 51-44, but the Green Wave responded with a 15-0 run to put the game out of reach at 66-44 capped off by a three-pointer from Julian Benson. Crookston would never pull within less than 18 points the rest of the game as the Green Wave scored over 100 points against Crookston for the second straight season remaining undefeated with a 107-71 win. “We had way too many turnovers,” noted Garmen. “The wheels came off early. We didn’t get back on defense. We needed to do that better to stop the easy ones because we know they’re going to score. That’s what their kids do. They get up and go. They press you into turnovers and transition points. Our guards have to be able to handle that. That comes with a lot of off-season work, and whether we did that or not, I don’t know, but you don’t have a lot of time to work on that at this point. They scored 100 on us last year and did it again this year, but that means we’ve got to keep working.”

Caden Osborn finished the game with 35 points, 1 point shy of his career-high, and tied for fifth all-time in Crookston history.

Crookston falls to 4-5 on the season. The Pirates return to the court on Monday, January 6, when Crookston travels to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton for a 7:30 P.M. tip-off. East Grand Forks improves to 7-0.

  1st  2nd  Final
East Grand Forks 49 58 107
CROOKSTON 39 32 71


For Crookston Points Rebound Steals/Assists
Caden Osborn 35 14 4 blocks
Jack Garmen 18
Easton Tangquist 9 3 assists
Walker Winjum 7 4
Brady Butt 2


For East Grand Forks Points
Julian Benson 49
Nathan Willett 14
Sam Votava 14
Tyler Aamodt 11
Tanner Campos 10
Jeremiah Haavig 3
Tyson Mahar 2
Josiah Gerhls 2
Carter Vasek 2