Class 1A State Basketball Semifinals

Audi Crooks and Algona Bishop Garrigan are on their way to the Class 1A championship game – again.

Crooks scored 26 points in another dominating performance as the Golden Bears rolled past Remsen St. Mary’s 73-39 to earn their fourth straight trip to the finals with a chance to win their second consecutive championship.

St. Mary’s did what it could to try to stop Crooks, having one defender face-guard her and putting another behind her. It didn’t matter. The 6-foot-3 Iowa State recruit caught one lob pass after another from her teammates and dropped in 10 of 11 shots. She rebounded her one miss, went right back up and banked it in.

Crooks also grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked five shots, made all six of her free throws and, for good measure, handed out two assists, including a nice bounce pass to Abbie Capesius cutting along the baseline for a layup.

The Golden Bears got plenty of production to go with Crooks. Molly Joyce went 4-for-8 from 3-point range in scoring 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out four assists. Freshman Emmi Bartolo scored 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting, Zoe Montag scored nine on three 3-pointers and Capesius had six points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Bishop Garrigan shot 59 percent, made 10 3s in all and outrebounded the Hawks 38-23.

Claire Schroeder led St. Mary’s with 11 points and Carmindee Ricke scored nine. Even with the loss it was a memorable season for St. Mary’s, which made the tournament for the first time and finished 24-2, a school record for victories.

Crooks got the game’s first basket 13 seconds in and Bishop Garrigan led the rest of the way. The Golden Bears jumped ahead 10-1 and held St. Mary’s to one field goal in the first quarter in building a 24-4 lead. They led 42-16 at halftime and were up 68-27 after Joyce pulled down a rebound and went the length of the court for a layup. She and Crooks left the game for good moments later.

Bishop Garrigan, now 25-1, will go for its second title at 7 p.m. Saturday, the final game of the 2023 tournament.