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Park Rapids' Ryan Peterson (right) ripped the ball away from Crookston's Aaron Hollcraft during Saturday afternoon's season opener at the Area High School gym.

Pirates' fast start keys win in opener

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Crookston opened up the game with a 23-0 run en route to a 61-39 win over Park Rapids in the season-opening boys basketball game at the Area High School gym Saturday afternoon.

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Brett Delage hit a 3-pointer, a long jumper and two free throws and scored on a pair of layups as the Pirates built a 23-0 lead with 13:30 to play in the first half. Crookston's defense forced nine turnovers during that stretch.

Kyle Goplerud's jumper at the 12:54 mark and basket off a rebound at the 11:58 mark ended Crookston's run, but a 3-pointer by Ross Forney and three-point play by Delage pushed the Pirates' lead to 31-4 with 10:20 remaining in the first half.

Kyle Goplerud scored off a rebound, Chris Goplerud made a layup, Andy Waller scored inside and Rilee Johnson hit a jumper as the Panthers trailed 37-14 at the half. Park Rapids committed 19 turnovers in the first 18 minutes.

The Panthers played Crookston even in the second half, but couldn't make up any ground as three 3-pointers by Forney and another by Delage kept the Pirates in front 58-22 with 6:26 to play. Tyler Ridlon and Tyler McCollum hit jumpers while Kyle Goplerud and Scott Wolff scored inside for the Panthers.

Park Rapids concluded the scoring on three inside baskets by Kyle Goplerud, two inside baskets by Wolff, jumpers by Josh Crist and Cory Gartner, and a 3-pointer by John Massie.

Delage scored a game-high 22 points while Forney added 14 points to lead the Pirates.

Kyle Goplerud finished with 14 points and six rebounds to lead the Panthers. McCollum added five rebounds and two steals, Ridlon and Chris Goplerud had four rebounds each, and Johnson finished with three steals.

CROOKSTON: Delage 8 4-5 22, Hollcraft 2 4-5 8, Forney 5 0-0 14, Hefta 1 2-2 4, Brewster 2 2-5 6, Boike 2 3-4 7. Totals: 20 (FG), 15 for 21 (FT).

Totals: 20 (FG), 15 for 21 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: K. Goplerud 7 0-0 14, C. Goplerud 1 1-2 3, Wolff 3 0-0 6, Carlson 0 0-0 0, McCollum 1 0-0 2, Otterness 0 0-2 0, Long 0 0-0 0, Bergquist 0 0-0 0, Ridlon 1 1-2 3, Crist 1 0-2 2 Johnson 1 0-2 2, Peterson 0 0-0 0, Gartner 1 0-0 2, Waller 1 0-1 2, Massie 1 0-0 3. Totals: 18 for 52 (FG), 2 for 11 (FT).

Halftime: Crookston 37, Park Rapids 14. Three-point field goals: Delage 2, Forney 4, Massie 1. Team fouls: Crookston 12, Park Rapids 16. Rebounds: Park Rapids 34 (K. Goplerud 6, McCollum 5, Ridlon 4, C. Goplerud 4, Crist 3, Waller 3, Bergquist 2, Peterson 2, Wolff 2, Otterness 1, Johnson 1, Carlson 1). Assists: Park Rapids 6 (Crist 2, Long 1, K. Goplerud 1, Wolff 1, Massie 1). Steals: Park Rapids 12 (Johnson 3, McCollum 2, Bergquist 1, Crist 1, K. Goplerud 1, Peterson 1, C. Goplerud 1, Waller 1, Carlson 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 2 (Johnson 1, Wolff 1). Turnovers: Park Rapids 24.

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