The #10 ranked and undefeated Fertile-Beltrami Falcons used their depth, outstanding defense, athleticism, and great teamwork to wear down the Crookston Pirate Boys Basketball team in a 75-54 victory in a game played at the Fertile-Beltrami High School Gymnasium.  “

Crookston started a back-and-forth first half with the first basket of the game when Walker Winjum buried a three-pointer from the corner for a 3-0 Pirate lead.  Fertile-Beltrami answered with a bucket before Jack Garmen made a basket to give Crookston a 5-2 lead.  The Pirate lead didn’t last long as the Falcons answered with a couple of steals that led to baskets for Grant Wilson and Addy McCollum for a 6-5 lead. The teams were tied at 8-8 three minutes into the game. Crookston took a 10-9 lead before Fertile-Beltrami used solid defense to go on an 11-0 run behind five points from Cort Christianson, and two points apiece from Grant Balstad, Everett Balstad, and Wilson for a 20-10 lead with 7:25 left in the half. Crookston answered with a big 14-4 run sparked by eight points from Winjum, and the game was tied at 24 with 3:13 remaining in the half. “We were shooting the ball well,” said Crookston Coach Greg Garmen. “We played decent defense and seemed to be playing well and it always helps when you hit some shots early.” The teams exchanged baskets, and Crookston took a 31-30 lead after a Caden Osborn three-pointer with 1:36 to go, but Fertile-Beltrami scored the final six points to take a 36-31 lead into halftime.  “I think our defense was lacking in the first half. Give Crookston credit, they hit some shots and hitting some threes,” said Falcon Coach Neil Steffes. “We ended the half on the run and that was huge.  We defended a little better and hit a few shots and to get the run was big.”

Fertile-Beltrami led 39-33 one minute into the half when they went on a 9-0 run four different player scoring baskets, and one more player made a free throw in the run for a 48-33 lead three minutes into the half. “We got that three-pointer right away in the half that got us going and we picked up the defense,” said Coach Steffes.   Crookston tried to make a run several times the rest of the half, but Fertile-Beltrami slowly wore down the Pirates with their depth, outstanding defense, non-stop hustle and hard work on their way to a 75-54 victory.  “I think we wore them out in the second half,” said Falcon Coach Steffes. “I thought we really worked hard in the second half and we were able to get out and run more and I thought Petry had a very good game.”  Crookston Coach Garmen said the slow start in the second half hurt. “They came out and played well in the second half and it seemed they wore us down,” said Garmen. “We played with more energy tonight than we did at Glyndon and that was good to see.”

Crookston drops to 4-7 on the year.  Fertile-Beltrami improves to 12-0 on the year.
J.V. – Fertile-Beltrami won 63-24      C Squad – Fertile-Beltrami won 61-19

  1st  2nd  Final
Crookston 31 23 54
Fertile-Beltrami 36 39 75


For Crookston Points Rebound Steals/Assists
Caden Osborn 18 15 5 assists/4 blocks
Walker Winjum 14 4 3 steals
Jack Garmen 11
Jacob Hesby 5
Easton Tangquist 4 4
Carter Bruggeman 2


For Fertile-Beltrami Points
Grant Wilson 16
Everett Balstad 11
Caleb Swenby 10
Cort Christianson 8
Ryan Petry 8
Addy McCollum 7
Soren Larson 7
Grant Balstad 6
Mathew Sykes 2