A late second-half comeback by the Crookston Pirate Boys Basketball team came up short and the Win-E-Mac Patriots held on for a 46-42 victory in a game played at the Crookston High School gymnasium.

Crookston started the game with a Jack Garmen three-pointer and Nick Garmen followed with two free throws for a 5-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.  “It was a nice start for us,” said Pirate Coach Greg Garmen. “We were playing pretty good defense which carried on throughout the game.”   Win-E-Mac answered with four points before Crookston’s Nick Garmen made two free throws and Caden Osborn added a basket and the Pirate lead was 8-4.  It was this point in the game the cagey veteran Win-E-Mac head coach Vern Johnson switched the defense to a matchup zone and the Patriots went on a 9-0 run behind Bryer Strom’s five points.  Crookston had one offensive possession that was about two minutes long and it resulted in a turnover as they continued to struggle against the match-up zone. After six-plus minutes, Crookston finally started to figure out the Patriot defense and Osborn scored in the pain and even though Win-E-Mac had a 9-0 run up to the Osborn basket, the Pirates only trailed 13-10 with 6:05 left in the first half.  The teams exchanged baskets and free throws over the next six minutes and Win-E-Mac led 20-14 with 54 seconds left in the half.  Crookston had the ball after a missed Patriot shot and Nick Garmen took a half-court shot with under about a second left in the half and he was fouled at the half court line and was awarded three free throws and made all three to bring the Pirates within a 20-17 deficit going into the locker room at halftime.  “Their two bigs only had one point combined at halftime and I thought we did a good job taking them away,” said Coach Garmen. “I thought we did a good job on the defensive end, but offensively we struggled and we had some bad, loud turnovers, but we were still right there at halftime.”

Win-E-Mac came out strong to start the second half and went on a 7-0 run with a three-pointer from Strom, who had encouragement from one Patriot fan in the crowd who yelled, “shoot it,” and a basket in the paint for Brekken Lindberg (his first points of the game) and a rebound and put back from Joey Revier for a 27-17 lead over three minutes into the half.  “That hurt us,” said Coach Garmen. “We had to battle back the rest of the night.”  Crookston stopped the run with an Osborn layup and the teams exchanged baskets for the next eight minutes.  Crookston trailed 43-33 with 5:13 left in the game when Osborn had a steal and a layup followed by Walker Winjum getting an offensive rebound and basket and on the defensive end, Winjum stole the ball and was fouled and made two free throws to cut Win-E-Mac’s lead to four points at 43-39 with 2:35 left in the game.  “We got back in it and that was a nice run for us,” said Coach Garmen. “We played with a little more urgency and we were fouling a little bit and they missed some shots.”  Win-E-Mac missed the front end of the bonus and Crookston missed a 19 baseline jump shot.  Win-E-Mac was fouled on their offensive possession and Dustin Osland made both free throws to give the Patriots a 45-39 lead with one minute left in the game.  Crookston missed a three-point attempt and was forced to foul Win-Mac and the Patriots missed the free throw and the Pirates’ Nick Garmen grabbed the rebound and the ball was worked up the floor and Jaden Lubarski hit a three-pointer from the right wing to bring Crookston within a three-pointer (45-42) with 15 seconds left.  Crookston quickly fouled and the Patriots missed both free throws and the Pirates grabbed the rebound.  Nick Garmen took a long three-pointer and missed and Win-E-Mac tracked down the rebound and was fouled with point-four seconds left in the game.  Crookston called a timeout before the Win-E-Mac free throws and they missed the first but made the second free throw and a Crookston full court shot, as the buzzer sounded, was short and the Patriots won 46-42.   Crookston struggled on their three-point attempts only making four of 26 attempts for 15 percent while they made 10 of 17 two-point attempts and 10 of 11 free throws in the game.  “It was a typical ugly game like we can play, we weren’t able to get a stop when we needed one,” said Coach Garmen. “We just needed another minute at the end of the game and we might have been able to get the win, but we coasted all game long until the end.  Defensively we played well, but offensively we need the kids to find ways to score.”

Crookston drops to 8-15 on the year and will host Roseau on Thursday.  Win-E-Mac improves to 19-4 on the season.

J.V. – Win-E-Mac won 54-41      C Squad – Win-E-Mac won 35-30

  1st  2nd  Final
Win-E-Mac 20 26 46
CROOKSTON 17 25 42


For Crookston Points Rebound Steals/Assists
Caden Osborn 14 7 4 steals/3 blocks
Nick Garmen 11 10
Walker Winjum 8 3 steals
Jaden Lubarski 6
Jack Garmen 3


For Win-E-Mac Points
Gavin Walker 14
Bryer Strom 11
Mason Spry 7
Brekken Lindberg 7
Joey Revier 5
Dustin Osland 2