Washington Evening Journal
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Girls state basketball: Year of the 1 seed
Chalky weekends with four top seeds winning championships
DES MOINES — Winfield-Mount Union’s state tournament journey may have ended on Wednesday night, but there was still plenty of action left to take place on the floor at Wells Fargo Arena.
Over the weekend, all five classes crowned their state champions, and all but one of those was a No. 1 seed. In fact, four of the five brackets saw the top two seeds going at it in the championship.
WMU wasn’t the only lower seed to get knocked out of Class 1A’s opening round. The top four teams in the class rolled onto the semifinals, and there wasn’t a final score in single digits during the entire tournament.
Top-seeded Bishop Garrigan, led by superstar post player Audi Crooks, absolutely dominated in the semifinals, knocking off Remsen St. Mary’s 73-39. After defeating WMU in the quarters, third-seeded North Linn was popped 66-48 by No. 2 Newell-Fonda.
A 49-points performance by Crooks led Bishiop Garrigan past Newell-Fonda 68-57 in Saturday night’s Class 1A final. Crooks averaged a ridiculous 39 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per game in the tournament.
In Class 2A, top-seeded Dike-New Hartford had to hold off a stingy No. 4 Sibley-Ocheyedan in the semifinals, grinding out a 61-56 win. In the championship, D-NH was simply too much for Central Lyon, winning the title 64-49.
Class 2A had just one upset in the bracket, as previously unbeaten Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont lost 47-36 as a No. 3 seed against No. 6 Pocahontas Area.
The Class 3A bracket was by far the wildest of the bunch. Top-seeded Estherville-Lincoln Central was stunned by No. 8 Vinton-Shellsburg 54-46 in the quarters. Readers may remember Vinton-Shellsburg as the team that defeated Mid-Prairie 55-40 in the regional semifinals.
Also losing in the first round was No. 3 seed West Marshall, which got blasted 79-51 against No. 6 seed Sioux Central. Sioux Central would then go on to upset Fairfield’s final opponent in No. 2 Solon, 46-44, in the semifinals. In the final, Sioux Center completed the journey with a 62-47 win over Benton Community.
In Class 4A, top-seeded Dallas Center-Grimes was put to the test by No. 4 Ballard in the semifinals. DCG escaped Ballard 33-32, earning revenge for a regular season loss to the Bombers. In the title game, DCG outlasted No. 2 seed North Polk by the score of 57-50.
The Class 5A tournament saw one upset in No. 6 Ankeny Centennial knocking off No. 3 Waterloo West 60-51 in the quarterfinal, but the top seeds prevailed in the semis, as No. 1 Pleasant Valley and No. 2 Johnston matched up for the championship.
In the closest final of the weekend, Pleasant Valley outlasted Johnston 59-56, avenging a state semifinal loss from last year to earn the championship trophy.