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Mustangs, Garrigan start year No. 1, No. 2

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Audi Crooks drives for Bishop Garrigan against Newell-Fonda in the 1A state championship game earlier this month in Des Moines.

Newell-Fonda and Bishop Garrigan will begin the 2020-21 basketball season in the exact same spot they ended it.

The Mustangs, two-time defending state champions, are the preseason No. 1 in Class 1A with the Golden Bears right behind them.

Newell-Fonda bested Bishop Garrigan in a thriller to claim the state title last year inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

The Mustangs feature four starters back including Ella Larsen, Bailey Sievers, Macy Sievers and Maggie Walker. The current senior class has lost just one game during their high school careers.

For the Golden Bears, Audi Crooks and Molly Joyce anchor a now-veteran group. The talented sophomores are one of the top inside-outside duos in the state.

South Central Calhoun is ranked fourth in 2A after going 15-7 a year ago. The Titans have a new coach in former Newell-Fonda and Buena Vista University standout Brady Dicks.

Emmetsburg is also in the 2A Top-15, checking in at No. 12 following a 17-win season a year ago.

Clarion-Goldfield/Dows, which advanced to the state volleyball semifinals this past fall, is ranked 15th in 3A. The Cowgirls, led by Div. I volleyball recruits Morgan Middleton and Jadyn Jondle, won 17 games last year.

Elizabeth Ennis, who previously coached C-G/D, returns to that position this winter.

West Branch (2A), Des Moines Christian (3A), Glenwood (4A) and Waterloo West (5A) are the other No. 1 ranked teams in their respective classes.

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