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Bishop Garrigan’s Audi Crooks becomes all-time leader in points at state tournament

The Golden Bears ran past Martensdale-St. Mary, 67-43

By Ryan Timmerman | Photos by Matthew Putney  

DES MOINES - Audi Crooks had a lot thrown at her. During and after Bishop Garrigan’s win on Wednesday. 

The Martensdale-Saint Marys defense threw multiple defenders on the Bishop Garrigan star with regularity, and after Class 1A top-seeded Bishop Garrigan advanced to the IGHSAU state tournament semifinals with a 67-43 win over the eighth-seeded Blue Devils at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, the Golden Bears’ Iowa State commit found out she set a couple of records during her most recent outing.

Crooks was informed that she set a Class 1A state tournament single-game record with 42 points and that she became the all-time leading scorer in state tournament history (all classes). As it stands, Crooks is over 2,000 career points altogether and has surpassed 1,000 career rebounds.

Crooks is at 257 career points scored at the state tournament. The Golden Bears (24-1) have made it to the 1A state championship game every season in Crooks’ career and won it last winter.

“I had no idea,” the 6-foot-3 Crooks said. “I just play the game. That’s pretty awesome. I’m glad that I get to do it with this team, this family. All praise goes to my teammates, I can’t score or do anything without them. They get me the ball where it needs to be.

“I appreciate the attention and the pressure. Not everybody feels pressure, because not everybody holds themselves to the same standard. But I embrace it all. I just like to play ball.”

And she and the Golden Bears (24-1) plan on playing a couple of more games at “The Well.”

“We knew coming into (the game) that we wanted to attack (offensively),” Crooks said. “We didn’t know for sure what they were going to do. Initially, they didn’t really bring any help-side defense and our guards did a really nice job of getting the ball inside.”

Martensdale-Saint Marys (21-5) was led by junior Brynnly German and senior Ellie Baker, who each ended with eight points.

Crooks’ effort was supplemented by senior Molly Joyce. She had seven points, seven rebounds, two steals and a game-high eight assists.

“Right before the game, we talked about coming out and make a statement,” said Joyce, who is committed to NCAA Division II Truman (Mo.) State. “We wanted to force (the Hawks) into having to call a timeout as soon as possible. If (Audi) has two or three defenders on her, she’ll call out where to go with the ball, she just always knows what’s going on when we’re on the court.

“Even when she has two or three girls on her, we can still throw it into her because she can just go above or through people. But with that, we know we’re going to get a lot of open looks. It’s important for us to be here. We have a lot of seniors, so we know we’re not going to get this team back again like in the past.”

Remsen Saint Mary’s hands West Fork first loss in 1A state quarterfinals

DES MOINES -- Playing at the IGHSAU state basketball tournament and going against one of the four undefeated teams left in the state didn’t faze the Remsen Saint Mary’s girls’ basketball team.

Despite going against unbeaten West Fork, the Hawks entered Wednesday’s Class 1A state tournament quarterfinal game at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines as the higher seed.

And fourth-seeded Remsen Saint Mary’s proved why, as it outpaced fifth-seeded West Fork, 54-41.

Remsen Saint Mary’s (24-1) held the Warhawks scoreless for the first half of the first quarter.

West Fork (24-1) didn’t win any individual quarter, but stuck within a point of the winning side during the second and third periods. The Hawks outscored the Warhawks by a combined 29-12 margin over the course of the first and fourth quarters.

The Hawks outrebounded their counterparts 40-25 and shot 12 of 20 from the free throw line compared to West Fork’s 5 of 10. Otherwise, Remsen Saint Mary’s only made three more shots from the field and the sides had the same number of 3-point makes (four) with the Hawks hoisting one more attempt (19).

“We’ve worked on our rebounding a lot,” said Remsen Saint Mary’s junior Charmindee Ricke, who had 10 points, seven rebounds and six steals. “We knew they had to be one and done on offense. It’s so awesome and incredible to be here. The atmosphere is wonderful, it’s just so amazing to be here with my teammates.”

Sophomore Leah Weaver led West Fork in scoring with 11 points before she fouled out late in the fourth. Three Remsen Saint Mary’s players finished in double figures, including junior Mya Bunkers’ 15

“It just comes down to trusting one another on offense and defense,” said the Hawks’ junior Whitney Jensen, who had a game-high 17 points with eight rebounds and five steals. “We treated it like any other game, but we had to get used to the big arena.

“Just talking on defense is one of our biggest things. It’s exciting. We only have one senior (Gracyn Schroeder), so we need to do this for her.”