Crooks Re-Writes Record Book, Bishop Garrigan Dominates in State Quarterfinals

by Tyler Lance
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Bishop Garrigan girls basketball is on to the class 1A state semifinal round after dominating in a 67-44 win over Martensdale-St Marys in the state quarterfinal round on Wednesday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

The Golden Bears never trailed in the ballgame, at one point leading by as many as 33, as stifling defense and a record setting performance by senior Audi Crooks guided Bishop Garrigan to a big early margin out of the gate. Crooks finished with 42 points on 20/25 shooting, marking the most points ever scored in a single state game by a class 1A player, as Crooks surpassed the 38 scored by Marquette Catholic’s Marissa Schroeder in 2017. The 42 points put Crooks in a tie for fourth place on the single game scoring list at state for all classes, joining former Dowling Catholic standout and current Iowa Hawkeye Caitlin Clark and marking Crooks’ eight game of 40 or more points this season. Crooks also passed the career state scoring record of 250 points, previously held by former Pocahontas Area Indian Elle Ruffridge.

Crooks was unaware of the records while the game was going on.

Bishop Garrigan Head Coach Brandon Schwab feels the whole team contributed to make the records possible.

The Golden Bears scored the first 13 points of the ballgame and led 21-4 at the end of the first quarter. Freshman Emmi Bartolo hit two first quarter threes, including her very first field goal attempt at Wells Fargo Arena. Senior Molly Joyce also added a first quarter trey for Bishop Garrigan.

Coach Schwab was happy to see his three point shooters, especially the freshmen, find their rhythm early.

Coach Schwab feels Bishop Garrigan was the more aggressive team on both ends of the court early.

Defense was the story of the ballgame for Bishop Garrigan, as the Golden Bears limited the Blue Devils to 3/11 from the field and 0/5 on 3s in the first half in building a 36-12 lead. Martensdale-St Marys came in taking just under 25 three point attempts per game, and hitting them at a 29.7% rate, but Coach Schwab feels his team did a great job of running the Blue Devils off the three point line and funneling them into the rim-protecting Crooks.

Crooks had a big responsibility on defense, but had full trust in everyone to do their job.

The defensive effort allowed Bishop Garrigan to accumulate a 19-9 turnover advantage in the ballgame, and a 19-7 edge in points off of turnovers.

In addition to Crooks’ 42 points and 14 boards, Joyce added 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists, including a highlight reel pass traveling three quarters of the length of the court to find Crooks for a layup in the third quarter. Joyce says she can always rely on Crooks to be on the receiving end of her passes.

Bartolo and senior Ashlyn Hovey both had six points with two three pointers apiece for Bishop Garrigan. For Martensdale-St Marys, sophomore Ellie Baker and junior Brynnly German both scored eight points to lead the way, while junior Hadley Pearson added seven.

For Crooks and Joyce, Wednesday’s game marked the start of their fourth trip to state in four years. In spite of their familiarity with the venue, both still say they feel the pregame nerves before playing at Wells Fargo.

The Golden Bears are now 24-1 and one win away from tying the program record for wins in a single season, while Martensdale-St Marys ends the season at 21-5.

In other class 1A semifinal results from Wednesday, Remsen St. Mary’s defeated West Fork 54-41, Newell-Fonda topped Woodbine 81-60, and North Linn took care of Winfield-Mt. Union 68-36.

Bishop Garrigan will face Remsen St. Mary’s on Friday afternoon at 1:30, as you can hear that game on KLGA 92.7 FM, while Newell-Fonda will match up with North Linn at 3:15 on Friday in the other class 1A semifinal game.

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