In their final game inside of the Bishop Garrigan High School gymnasium, Golden Bear seniors Audi Crooks and Molly Joyce helped carry Bishop Garrigan to the regional finals for the fourth year in a row with a 71-50 win over Saint Ansgar on Friday night.
Crooks scored 44 points, her seventh game of 40 or more points on the season, passing current Iowa Hawkeye and former Dowling Catholic standout Caitlin Clark for fourth on the IGHSAU all time five on five scoring list. Crooks also became the 23rd player in the five on five era of IGHSAU basketball to score at least 700 points in a single season. Joyce overcame an early cut on her chin to score 18 and set the Golden Bears up for a date with Riceville in the regional finals on Wednesday.
Bishop Garrigan got 6’3″ Saint Ansgar senior Madison Hillman in early foul trouble, as Hillman picked up three first quarter fouls guarding Crooks one on one. Hillman, who is the only player in the Top of Iowa East averaging a double double, was forced to sit out the entire second quarter with foul trouble.
The Golden Bears started slow offensively, grabbing a 16-9 lead at the end of one. The Saints stuck around for much of the second quarter, getting a double digit Bishop Garrigan lead back down to seven on a Kaelee Hicken three pointer with just under four minutes remaining in the half to make the score 26-19. However, Golden Bears would close the half on a 12-4 scoring run to put some breathing room between themselves and the Saints.
Saint Ansgar was not finished however, cutting the Bishop Garrigan lead down 46-36 with 3:30 on the clock in the 3rd quarter. Once again, the Golden Bears would close out the quarter strong though, this time with a 12-2 run over the final three and a half minutes. Bishop Garrigan held serve in the fourth quarter, securing their 40th straight home win and moving to 22-1 on the season. The Saints finish 17-7 as Hillman finished with 11 points, while junior Kinsey Anderson added 10.
The Golden Bears will face 23-1 Riceville on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats topped West Hancock 53-42 on Friday. The game will be video streamed on the Algona Radio YouTube channel, and can be heard on the radio on KLGA 92.7 FM.