The #9 ranked Fertile-Beltrami Falcons Falcons used two large runs, one in each half to defeat the visiting Crookston Pirates 73-39 in a boy’s basketball game at Fertile.

The game started out slowly for both teams trading four baskets in the first five minutes and was tied at 6-6 with the Pirates Isaac Thomforde, Jacob Hesby, and Jack Garmen getting baskets. Rylin Petry had a couple of baskets to go with Everett Balstad also sinking a couple. A number of turnovers and too many fouls in close coverage by both teams slowed the game down significantly in the first half, but Crookston. After the Pirates Hesby hit a nice mid-range jumper to make the score 11-9 seven and a half minutes into the game, Fertile-Beltrami went on their first run of the game, playing good defense and running an offense that had four different players scoring on a 12-0 run for the next four minutes and they jumped out to 23-8 lead with about six and a half minutes to go in the first half. During this stretch, Crookston was in foul trouble and giving the Falcons several trips to the line with Petry making four, Caiden Swenby, and Justin Solie two each. Crookston finally ended the drought with Thomforde hitting a three and he would add another one, but it was too much Petry, Balstad, and Swenby the rest of the half. The Falcons had problems shooting from downtown, they didn’t connect with one but they were sure good inside the arc and free throw line to have a commanding 37-23 at half-time.  “That was a tough stretch midway through the half,” said Crookston head coach Greg Garmen, “plus we ran into foul trouble which hurt and we struggled to score, to say the least.”

The second half started with a total blitz by Fertile-Beltrami as they threw out the full-court press and it really threw the Pirates off! Derek Sorenson and Balstad started with baskets and the press enabled the Falcons Caiden Swenby to score three straight baskets to widen the lead to 47-23 before you could blink. It took four minutes and Fertile-Beltrami was up by 28 points!!!!  “The press out of the second half hurt us,” said coach Garmen, “we did not run our press break like we needed to.” For the rest of the game, the Pirates played the Falcons, who were mostly reserves playing the last nine minutes of the game, pretty much straight up, being outscored 20-16 the rest of the way. “We struggled shooting in the first half,” said Fertile-Beltrami coach Neil Steffes, “Crookston tried to control the tempo slowing us down in the first half. They did a very good job keeping us from an up-tempo game. The second half we came out in a press and forced some turnovers and sped them up to open up a 30 point lead to pull away.” Jack Garmen had tight defense against him the entire game and held him in pretty good check with five first-half points but the senior got loose late in the second half with two treys, a basket, and one free throw in just over three and a half minutes to close it a bit, but Ryan Van Den Einde and Masen Nowacki both got on the board in the final minutes to help Fertile-Beltrami to a 73-39 win over the Pirates. ” For a lot of the game we just didn’t shoot well although we started the game out pretty well. But like our last three games we’ve had some decent starts but cannot maintain it,” said Coach Garmen.

Fertile-Beltrami improves to 9-1 on the season and will be at Twin Valley on Monday for a game against Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal and continues with a contest against Win-E-Mac at home on Tuesday and traveling to Fosston on Friday. Crookston is 2-9 on the season and has four straight losses. The Pirates will be at Greenbush on Monday to play Badger-Greenbush-Middle River and they come home to host Red Lake County in a pair of Section 8A teams.
JV –  Won by Fertile-Beltrami 59-20

  1st  2nd  Final
CROOKSTON 23 16 39
Fertile-Beltrami 37 36 73


Jack Garmen 16
Isaac Thomforde 10
Jacob Hesby 6
Haden Michaelson 5
Reggie Winjum 2


For Fertile-Beltrami Points
Rylin Petry 18
Everett Balstad 14
Caiden Swenby 12
Derek Sorenson 6
Tyler Stuhaug 5
Cody  Opdahl 4
Ryan Van Den Einde 4
Kadyn Olson 3
Justin Solie 3
Austin Bjerk 2
Masen Nowacki 2


Jack Garmen