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North Iowa basketball well-represented in latest IGHSAU poll
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North Iowa basketball well-represented in latest IGHSAU poll

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As the new year begins, basketball is finally emerging from its long winter break and North Iowa has plenty of representation in the newest polls.

Several teams are poised for possible state championship runs, and the following list is the new Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union rankings. These will change when the new rankings come out later in the week, but this is where things stand currently.

Area teams are in bold. 

Class 1A

1. Montezuma, 9-0

2. Newell-Fonda, 8-0

3. Marquette Catholic, 10-1

4. North Mahaska, 6-2

5. Bishop Garrigan, 9-0

The Golden Bears rose one spot in the rankings to No. 5. Since the poll's release, Garrigan has won twice more, a 73-57 win over North Union, and a dominant 84-19 victory over North Iowa on Saturday night. Audi Crooks looks capable of putting this team on her back, shooting an impressive 70.6 percent from the field, with a team-high 103 rebounds. Expect this team to stick around. 

6. MMCRU, 7-0

7. St. Ansgar, 8-1

At 9-1 on the year, the Saints have proven themselves to be contenders. The team has won eight straight games, including a one-point victory over Osage back on Dec. 10. Since that point though, St. Ansgar has not played a team with a current winning record. A Jan. 21 rematch with Osage is looming, and until then, barring injury, there is little reason to think St. Ansgar won't continue to brush aside the competition. 

8. East Buchannan, 7-2

9. Clarksville, 7-1

10. Sigourney, 6-2

11. Kingsley-Peirson, 8-1

12. Springville, 9-0

13. Burlington Notre Dame, 8-0

14. Exira-EHK, 8-1

15. Central Decatur, 6-1

Class 2A

1. Cascade (9-0)

2. West Hancock (10-0)

With junior Rachel Leerar having another fantastic season, the Eagles look well on their way to a possible return to the state championship game. The key for this team is going to be health. As long as they can avoid key players getting hurt for the stretch, they should be able to make a deep postseason run. 

3. North Linn (8-1)

4. Van Buren County (9-2)

5. Osage (6-1)

The Green Devils are 6-1 on the season, the only loss a one-point defeat to Top of Iowa rival St. Ansgar. With only one winning team on their schedule until Jan. 21, the next St. Ansgar showdown is shaping up to be a fun and important night for basketball fans in Mitchell County.

6. MFL-Mar-Mac (9-2)

7. West Branch (8-2)

8. Maquoekta Valley (8-1)

9. Mount Ayr (6-2)

10. Western Christian (6-2)

11. Hudson (9-1)

12. AHSTW (8-1)

13. Mediaoplis (9-1)

14. Logan-Magnolia (8-1)

15. Emmetsburg (5-2)

Class 3A

1. North Polk (6-3)

2. Clear Lake (7-1)

The Lions suffered their first loss of the season on Monday night, with a surprisingly non-competitive second half against Class 4A Waverly-Shell Rock. Despite the loss, Clear Lake is still in fantastic shape as the postseason approaches. Senior Sara Faber leads the team in scoring and steals, and with Darby Dodd and Chelsey Holck providing scoring depth off the bench and Kaitlyn Vanderploeg providing the blocks and rebounds, the Lions should be fine.Tough matchups against Algona and Forest City will be good tests for the Lions over the next couple of weeks. 

3. Red Oak (9-0)

4. Bishop Heelan (4-2)

5. Crestwood (10-1)

6. Dike-New Hartford (6-1)

7. Rolan-Story (8-1)

8. Okoboji (10-0)

9. Davenport Assumption (6-1)

10. Des Moines Christian (8-1)

11. West Liberty (9-1)

12. West Burlington (8-1)

13. Hampton-Dumont-CAL (8-0)

The 13th ranked Bulldogs have compiled a 7-0 record so far on the season, with an average margin of victory of 19 points. With Algona and Clear Lake coming up on the schedule, it will be crunch time for the Bulldogs. After an 8-13 finish last season, the team's hot start has been exciting and unexpected. Let's see if they can keep it going against some of the state's most intimidating teams. 

14. Waukon (6-4)

15. Cherokee (7-3)

Class 4A

1. North Scott (9-0)

2. Marion (7-0)

3. Center Point-Urbana (8-0)

4. Glenwood (10-0)

5. Gilbert (8-2)

6. Ballard (8-1)

7. Lewis Central (5-3)

8. Cedar Rapids Xavier (5-3)

9. Mason City (5-4)

After a blazing 4-0 start, Mason City has cooled off. With four losses in their past five games, the Mohawks hope to turn it around soon. The meat of the schedule is coming up soon though, and things will only get tougher. On the plus side, senior Anna Deets has been spectacular, scoring the 10th most points in the state with 208, and an area best 23.1 points per game. Each of their past three losses have been to tough Class 5A teams, so it is not time to panic. If the Mohawks can snag wins against teams like Marshalltown, they should be just fine. 

10. Central DeWitt (9-0)

11. Waverly-Shell Rock (8-2)

12. Maquoketa (7-2)

13. Knoxville (8-1)

14. Carroll (6-2)

15. Grinnell (5-3)

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