This year’s Bishop Garrigan team has made history achieving something no other team in the school’s history has by advancing to the state finals. The Golden Bears came in as the #2 seed in 1A and will face off with 8 seed Wapsie Valley-Fairbank on Friday at 2 PM for the title. Wapsie Valley has shocked the Iowa basketball community by upsetting #1 seed Lake Mills in the Quarterfinals 49-45 then downed #4 seed Montezuma by double digits. They knocked off Lake Mills despite the #1 seed winning almost every offensive category, as WVF rode their defense to the win. Wapsie Valley held Lake Mills to 33% shooting from the field and 15% from 3 point range. They had a similar performance in their win over Montezuma holding them to 35% shooting overall and 22% from 3. The question going into the finals is whether they can replicate that performance against Bishop Garrigan and more specifically “The Triple Threat Triangle” of the Winkel brothers and John Joyce ? Garrigan has advanced by edging Springville 55-52 and downing West Fork-Sheffield 66-52. In the West Fork win, Bishop Garrigan led by just 2 at the half. The Golden Bears would take control after the break outscoring WFS 37-25 in the 2nd half. The Golden Bears led by as many as 21 late in the 4th. Angelo Winkel with another double-double in 2nd straight at state. He had 16 points and 15 boards in the Semifinal win, John Joyce had a team high 17. The golden Bears had their own defensive display against WFS holding them to just 4 of 20 shooting from 3 point range. This Bishop Garrigan team has already made history but can they finish the job and end the underdog run by Wapsie Valley one win shy of the “Hollywood” ending?
The story line in Class 4A, is the strength of the CIML as members schools make up 3 of the last 4 standing. Waukee, Ankeny, Ankeny Centennial all have have advanced to the Semifinals and at least one CIML team will play for the title. #4 Seed Waukee had a 58-50 win over North Scott in which they shot over 50% from 3. D-1 Prospects Tucker Devries and Payton Sandfort combined for 41 points in the win. # 1 seed Centennial edged Davenport 53-51 despite being held without a FG for the 2:12. Ankeny High the 6 seed had a win Wednesday knocking off 3 seed Iowa City West by double digits. The Hawks trailed by 6 after the 1st, but had a big 2nd quarter 21-9 to take a 6 point led at the half. They would close strong scoring 25 in the 4th to pull away. Senior Guard Braxton Bayless had a game high 41 in the win, including going 17 of 19 from the foul line. Dowling Catholic was the lone CIML team to lose in the Quarterfinals as they couldn’t answer a bucket by Cedar Falls in the final 30 seconds and fell 64-62. Thursday night’s Semifinals will see Waukee take on Ankeny Centennial at 6:30. Centennial took the lone regular season meeting 78-70 at Waukee in January. The night cap at 8:15 has Ankeny battling the defending champs Cedar Falls who look to spoil the CIML’s party at state. If Ankeny Centennial and Ankeny both win not only would it be an all CIML affair but it would be the “crosstown showdown” in the Finals, if that happens the last one out of Ankeny go ahead and turn out the lights.