Bishop Garrigan girls basketball is headed back to state for the third straight season and for the fourth time in the past five seasons after a commanding 74-33 win over Riceville in the Class 1A – Region 3 Championship. Bishop Garrigan never trailed in the game, taking command early behind a turnover-forcing defense and an offense that attacked the basket.
Bishop Garrigan head coach Brandon Schwab says that although the Golden Bears hadn’t seen a lot of man to man defensive teams prior to last night, they relied on their preparation to get the job done.
Coach Schwab knows how hard it is to get this far and says the feeling will never get old.
Audi Crooks scored 31 points and recorded a double double for the 20th time this season, while Molly Joyce followed closely behind with 25 points for Bishop Garrigan. The Golden Bears did not allow any Wildcat players to score in double figures.
Perhaps the most dominant stretch of the game came after a timeout called by Coach Schwab with just over four minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter. At that point, the Golden Bears held a solid, but not insurmountable 26-14 lead. Following the timeout, Bishop Garrigan ended the first half on a 16-4 scoring run, extending their lead to 42-18, then continued to pile on in the 3rd quarter with a 23-5 scoring edge in the frame. By the time the dust settled and the game moved into the fourth quarter, Bishop Garrigan had compiled a 39-9 scoring run in just over 12 minutes of play to make the final outcome a formality.
Bishop Garrigan heads to Wells Fargo Arena with the number two seed in class 1A, as the Golden Bears face seventh seeded Burlington Notre Dame on Wednesday night at 5 P.M. Burlington Notre Dame is the only undefeated team remaining in class 1A, with a record of 23-0 following their 83-22 win over English Valleys last night.
In other class 1A regional championship games from last night, top seeded Newell-Fonda pulled away from Remsen St. Mary’s on the way to a 72-43 victory, North Mahaska used an 18-4 scoring edge in the 4th quarter to steal a state berth away from Martensdale-St. Mary’s with a 46-39 win, MMCRU won a defensive battle 49-31 over Storm Lake St. Mary’s, Exira-EHK handed Stanton their first loss by a final of 63-47, Springville ran away from Baxter 87-54, handing the Bolts their first loss, and North Linn closed out East Buchanan 62-41.
In Wednesday’s 1A state quarterfinal round, #1 Newell-Fonda faces #8 North Mahaska at 1:30, #4 MMCRU clashes with #5 Exira-EHK at 3:15, #2 Bishop Garrigan against #7 Burlington Notre Dame tips off at 5, and #3 Springville versus #6 North Linn wraps up the day at 6:45.