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Garrigan making return trip to state

MASON CITY — The two-time defending state champion Bishop Garrigan girls are headed back to Des Moines.

Despite losing stars Audi Crooks and Molly Joyce from last year, the Golden Bears punched their fifth straight trip with a 57-41 victory over Riceville here Wednesday night.

Bishop Garrigan (23-1 overall) will face Council Bluffs St. Albert (22-1) next Wednesday inside Wells Fargo Arena in the state quarterfinals at 3:15 p.m.

“These kids put in a lot of work and effort into this game,” BGHS head coach Brandon Schwab said. “These players deserve this. They fought their butts off.

“We went through some moments this season and stretches where we didn’t play our best basketball, but there was never a day they came to practice and made an excuse.”

The Golden Bears took control early, jumping out to a 16-6 lead after the first before building a commanding 35-16 advantage at the half.

Riceville (22-2) has now lost three consecutive regional finals to Bishop Garrigan, who is 123-11 over the past five seasons with two state runner-up finishes to go with the pair of titles.

North Linn will play Montezuma at state, with the winner of that came taking on either the Golden Bears or St. Albert. The bottom half of the bracket pits Newell-Fonda vs. Calamus-Wheatland and Remsen St. Mary’s vs. Martensdale-St. Marys.

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