It was a battle of the top two teams in the Section 8AA North-subsection, and it didn’t disappoint as the Crookston Pirate Girls Basketball team beat the Hawley Nuggets 53-46 in overtime in Crookston.  “That was an excellent game, down to the wire between to good basketball team,” said Crookston Coach Darin Zimmerman, who was honored with the game ball and 100 wins plaque before the game. “It felt like March and a tournament atmosphere tonight.”

Crookston jumped out to an 8-2 lead with two free throws apiece from Emma Borowicz and Halle Winjum.  After a Hawley basket, Crookston answered with an Emma Borowicz basket, followed by a Halle Winjum steal and layup for an 8-2 lead over three minutes into the game.  “I thought we started the game well,” said Coach Zimmerman. “We were making free throws early, and that means Hawley was fouling.”
The teams battled back-and-forth for the next nine minutes, and Crookston led 17-11 after an Emma Borowicz basket with six minutes left in the half.  “Execution was pretty good early,” said Coach Zimmerman. “Defensively, we played well, and things were good for most of the half.”
Hawley controlled the final six minutes as they went on an 11-3 run to end the half.  The run was sparked by an offensive rebound and putback from Alex Eilerston, and the run was capped by an Abigail Rux steal and layup for a 21-20 lead at halftime.  “We need to be more consistent in the first half,” said Coach Zimmerman. “It wasn’t the way we wanted to finish the half, and we half to find a way to limit runs a little quicker.”

Hawley started the second half like they ended the first half on a run, with Kylie Crabtree making two three-pointers with a Crookston basket in between for a 27-22 lead four minutes into the half. “It wasn’t a great start,” said Coach Zimmerman.  Crookston answered in a big way as they picked up their defensive pressure, and their 5’5 freshman took over with a three-pointer. After a Hawley basket, Emma Boll had a basket inside, followed by a beautiful baseline drive into a reverse layup by Halle Winjum.  Halle wasn’t done as she made a three-pointer to cap a 10-2 run and the Pirates led 32-29.  “Halle is tough,” said Coach Zimmerman. “She is such a fantastic basketball player at such a young age.”  The teams played even over the game’s final nine minutes, and Crookston led 43-40 after a Halle Winjum free throw with 17.6 seconds left in regulation.  Hawley worked the ball around and found Lilly Peterson who launched a long three-pointer from the top of the key, with a Pirate defender in front of her, and she hit nothing but net to tie the game at 43. “We switched defenses a little bit, and we got the ball out of the hands of who we thought they were going to,” said Coach Zimmerman. “Give credit to Peterson for making a tough shot.” Crookston inbounded the ball and expeditiously moved the ball up the floor.  Emma Boll received a pass on the baseline, and she spun and put a shot up that rolled off the back of the rim, and the teams were headed to overtime. “We work on that, and we almost got it,” said Coach Zimmerman. “We knew we were going to be okay going into overtime.”

Neither team scored for the first minute of the four-minute overtime session.  Crookston scored the first points when the two Pirate seniors hooked up for a beautiful play when Emma Borowicz found Emma Boll for a layup. “That was a great pick-and-roll,” said Coach Zimmerman. “Emma (Boll) made a great left-handed layup.”  A few seconds later, Emma Borowicz added a basket to give the Pirates a 47-43 lead.  “Emma Boll was really good in the overtime as far as rebounding,” said Coach Zimmerman. “Emma Borowicz had some big plays for us in overtime, and the two seniors really led us.”  Hawley’s Lilly Peterson made her fourth three-pointer of the game to bring the Nuggets within a 47-46 deficit.  Crookston didn’t allow a point in the final two minutes of the overtime and made six of eight free throws to win the game 53-46.  “We are getting better at the free-throw line,” said Coach Zimmerman. “It was a nice win against an excellent team, and give credit to Hawley, they played well too.  We are going to enjoy this win for tonight and will take pride in the win, but we will get back to work tomorrow.”

Crookston improves to 10-3 on the year and will travel to Roseau on Thursday, a game you can hear on KROX Radio.  With the win, Crookston solidifies the #1 seed in the Section 8AA North sub-section.  Hawley drops to 8-6 on the year and will be the #2 seed in the north. 

  1st  2nd  OT Final
Hawley 21 22 3 46
CROOKSTON 20 23 10 53


For Crookston Points Rebounds Assists/Steals
Halle Winjum 22 5 4 assists/3 steals
Emma Borowicz 18 5 6 steals/4 assists
Emma Boll 7 7
Hayden Winjum 4 9 5 steals/3 assists
Ally Perreault 2


For Hawley Points
Kylie Crabtree 12
Lilly Peterson 12
Anna Steer 10
Kaylie Crabtree 9
Abigail Rux 2
Alex Eilertson 2