After facing an early 21-4 deficit, the Park Rapids boys basketball team battled back before falling short in a 71-60 loss to Crookston in a Section 8AA contest at the Area High School gym on Monday, Jan. 13.

Four different players hit 3-pointers to give the Pirates the early lead. Jack Garmen, Walker Winjum, Brady Butt and Caden Osborn connected from long range as Crookston led 21-4 with 9:35 to play in the first half. Gabe Arola had two layups for the Panthers.

Shawn Ohm hit a jumper, Kolby Brandt scored inside and Kaiden Walsh hit back-to-back 3-pointers as Park Rapids cut the gap to 23-14 at the 6:55 mark. After 3-pointers by Garmen and Easton Tangquist made it 31-16 at the 4:25 mark, two 3-pointers by Jeff Haas and a pair of layups by Arola cut the gap to 32-26 with 1:49 to play in the first half. The Pirates would carry a 36-27 edge into the break.

Three-pointers by Tangquist and Carter Bruggeman kept Crookston in front 45-33 with 14:14 to play before the Panthers rallied behind a 3-pointer by James Hartig, putbacks by Ohm and Michaelson, a layup by Arola and a breakaway dunk by Michaelson. That cut the deficit to 52-44 with 9:06 remaining.

Another layup by Michaelson made it 54-46 at the 8:27 mark before the Pirates went on a 12-1 run as 3-pointers by Osborn and Jacob Hesby extended the lead to 66-47 with 4:10 to play. Park Rapids mounted another comeback behind a full-court pressing defense as a layup by Michaelson, two laypus by Hartig, a layup by Noah Morris, a jumper by Hartig and another layup by Michaelson closed the gap to 69-60 with 24 seconds left before a layup by Osborn concluded the scoring.

Garmen (17), Bruggeman (15), Tangquist (14) and Osborn (12) hit double figures for the Pirates, who hit 10 3-pointers in the game to improve to 3-6 against section opponents and 5-7 overall.

MIchaelson (16), Arola (13) and Hartig (10) led a balanced scoring attack for the Panthers, who fell to 0-8 in section games and 1-12 overall. Park Rapids was coming off a 66-47 section loss at Hawley on Friday, Jan. 10.

CROOKSTON: Winjum 2 2-2 7, Tangquist 6 0-2 14, Garmen 4 7-11 17, Bruggeman 4 6-11 15, Osborn 5 0-1 12, Butt 1 0-0 3, Hesby 1 0-0 3. Totals: 23 (FG), 15 for 27 (FT).
PARK RAPIDS: Hartig 4 1-2 10, Haas 2 0-0 6, Michaelson 7 2-4 16, K. Brandt 1 0-0 2, Morris 1 0-1 2, Arola 6 1-5 13, Walsh 2 0-1 6, H. Brandt 0 0-0 0, Ohm 2 1-2 5. Totals: 25 (FG), 5 for 15 (FT).
Halftime: Crookston 36, Park Rapids 27. Three-pointers: Winjum 1, Tangquist 2, Garmen 2, Bruggeman 1, Osborn 2, Butt 1, Hesby 1, Hartig 1, Haas 2, Walsh 2. Team fouls: Crookston 15, Park Rapids 20.