The Crookston Pirate Girl’s Basketball team used outstanding defense to frustrate the Cass Lake-Bena Panthers and ended the game on a 33-4 run on their way to a 76-32 victory in a game played at the Crookston High School gymnasium.

Crookston started the game on a 12-1 run sparked by stellar defense with a handful of steals, combined with an offensive spark off the bench from Halle Winjum and Abby Borowicz. “Defensively we executed with that fast start,” said Pirate Coach Darin Zimmerman. “Halle and Abby are terrific basketball players and they give our team a different dimension and play with a lot of poise for their age.” Cass Lake-Bena made their first basket of the half with a Danae Wilson three-pointer to get within a 12-4 deficit. Crookston responded with five straight points with a Gretchen Theis free throw, a Halle Winjum steal that led to an Emma Borowicz basket, a Kasey Cwikla offensive rebound and basket for a 17-4 lead over halfway through the half. “Kasey gave us a lot of energy inside today,” said Coach Zimmerman. “She anchored the defense in the paint and had a great game on the glass.”  Crookston was called for a technical foul for too many players on the floor when there was confusion after a timeout and Madison Hoiland ran out on the floor for the sixth Pirate player and Cass Lake-Bena made both free throws to get within a 17-6 deficit with seven minutes remaining in the half. Another technical foul was called with 6:25 left in the half when a Cass Lake-Bena player argued a foul call and Crookston’s Theis made the two technical foul shots and then made the first free throw in a bonus situation and followed with another free throw. Over the next minute, the Pirates added four more points for a 25-6 lead before Cass Lake-Bena answered with four points. Crookston stopped the run with a rebound and beautiful pass from Emma Borowicz to Halle Winjum for a layup, which was followed by an Emma Borowicz free throw for a 28-10 lead. The teams played even the rest of the way and Crookston took a 35-17 lead into halftime.  Crookston went to the free-throw line a bunch in the first half and made 15 of 21 attempts. “We are a pretty aggressive team and we are going to get to the line a bit,” said Coach Zimmerman. “We shot well today and that was good and we were pleased with the first half, but we feel we didn’t execute like we needed to.”

The start of the second half was a competitive first five minutes as the teams exchanged baskets and it seemed Cass Lake-Bena came out more aggressive on the offensive end, led by Krisalyn Seelye.  Crookston led 40-25 when Emma Borowicz made a three-pointer and after three Panther points, Emma made another three-pointer to spark a 33-4 run to end the game for a 76-32 victory. “We had good leadership from Emma today,” said Coach Zimmerman. “She will do whatever we need her to do to be successful.” Crookston’s defense had the Panthers frustrated with a handful of charging calls and two technical fouls.  Crookston picked up the defensive pressure as Cass Lake-Bena got more frustrated while taking a handful of charges and they cruised in the final nine minutes while getting everybody in the game.  “I think Gretchen Theis took three charges in the game and that is great,” said Coach Zimmerman. “I was pleased with the second half and thought we played much better and executed a lot better.  It was a good weekend of basketball against two solid teams.”

Crookston improves to 12-2 on the year.  Cass Lake-Bena drops to 7-5 on the year.
J.V. – Crookston won 

  1st  2nd  Final
Cass Lake-Bena 17 15 32
CROOKSTON 35 41 76


For Crookston Points Rebound Steals/Assists
Emma Borowicz 18 4 3 steals/3 assists
Hayden Winjum 15 4 5 steals/2 assists
Gretchen Theis 11 4 5 steals/2 assists
Kasey Cwikla 9 8
Halle Winjum 8 2 steals/3 assists
Abby Borowicz 6 3
Jenna Coauette 5 3 3 steals
Amelia Overgaard 2
Ally Perreault 2


For Cass Lake-Bena Points
Gabby Fineday 9
Krisalyn Seeleye 8
Taryn Frazer 5
Danae Wilson 4
Michelle Jordain 2
Kailee Fineday 2
Amira Laduke 2