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The song remains the same: Not much movement for North Iowa teams in latest girls' basketball rankings
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The song remains the same: Not much movement for North Iowa teams in latest girls' basketball rankings

From the The week's most popular sports stories series
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No big news this week for North Iowa in the IGHSAU girls basketball rankings. All but one of the area teams named in the polls stayed exactly where they were last week, the one exception being Hampton-Dumont, which fell three spots because of its loss to Clear Lake back on Jan. 16. 

The two schools to watch are West Hancock and Clear Lake. At 16-0 and No. 2 in Class 2A, the Eagles have to be considered a favorite for the state title. The Lions are currently on a six-game winning streak, and have beaten their opponents by an average of 17 points. 

Class 1A

1. Montezuma, 13-0

2. Newell-Fonda, 15-0

3. Marquette Catholic, 15-1

4. North Mahaska, 10-2

5. Bishop Garrigan, 15-1

With three pretty dominant wins last week, and the state's fifth-leading scorer in Audi Crooks, the Golden Bears are in a pretty favorable position. I expect them to be one of the team's fighting for a state title down at Wells Fargo Arena in just a few short weeks. 

6. MMCRU, 15-0

7. St. Ansgar, 13-2

The Saints suffered a disappointing 59-55 loss last week at Osage, a game in which St. Ansgar blew a 12-point fourth quarter lead. The lead also dropped the Saints into a tie atop the Top of Iowa East standings. I wouldn't expect the Saints to drop too far in the rankings, but getting outscored 20-4 in the fourth quarter of a conference game is definitely cause for concern. I'm sure St. Ansgar will be ready for a rematch when the postseason gets here.

8. St. Albert, 8-5

9. Kingely-Pierson, 13-2

10. Exira-EHK, 14-1

11. Burlington Notre Dame, 14-1

12. Woodbury Central, 12-3

13. East Buchanan, 11-4

14. Central Decatur, 9-3

15. Central Elkader, 15-2

Class 2A

1. Cascade, 14-0

2. West Hancock, 17-0

The Eagles are undefeated with only five games left in the regular season. With one of the state's top scorers, in Rachel Leerar, and one of the state's top rebounders, in Amanda Chizek, West Hancock is one of my top picks to bring home a state title. There are a lot of games to be played between now and then, but the Eagles have shown no reason to be doubted.

3. North Linn, 13-1

4. Osage, 12-1

The comeback win last week against St. Ansgar was huge, moving the team into a tie atop the Top of Iowa East standings. Junior Dani Johnson and senior Sidney Brandau lead the team in both scoring and rebounds this season, and with 10 straight wins, the Green Devils are emerging as a class 2A power. 

5. MFL-Mar-Mac, 14-2

6. West Branch, 13-2

7. Van Buren, 13-2

8. Western Christian, 12-4

9. Maquoketa Valley, 13-2

10. AHSTW, 14-1

11. Mediapolis, 15-1

12. Mount Ayr, 12-2

13. Hudson, 11-3

14. Panorama, 12-2

15. Emmetsburg, 11-3

Class 3A

1. Dike-New Hartford, 13-1

2. Crestwood, 13-2

3. Bishop Heelan, 10-3

4. Clear Lake, 13-1

Even with opposing teams focusing their defense on stopping senior Sara Faber, the Lions have done just fine. Junior Chelsey Holck has emerged as an alternate scoring threat, and Darby Dodd is a valuable weapon to have as a 3-point shooter. They are one of the area's basketball teams to watch.

5. Roland-Story, 12-1

6. Red Oak, 13-3

7. North Polk, 9-4

8. Des Moines Christian, 14-1

9. Okoboji, 14-1

10. West Burlington, 11-3

11. Davenport Assumption, 9-4

12. West Liberty, 14-2

13. Hampton-Dumont-CAL, 13-1

The Bulldogs dropped three spots in the polls after their Jan. 16 home loss to Clear Lake. Their physical style of play keeps opponents off-balance, but it had to be discouraging to lose by 15, even to a team as good as the Lions. They have a shot at revenge though, with a game at Clear Lake looming on Feb. 11. 

14. West Marshall, 10-1

15. Cherokee, 12-4

Class 4A

1. North Scott, 14-0

2. Marion, 13-0

3. Center Point-Urbana, 13-0

4. Glenwood, 14-0

5. Ballard, 13-1

6. Cedar Rapids Xavier, 9-4

7. Lewis Central, 10-4

8. Gilbert, 10-3

9. Waverly-Shell Rock, 11-2

10. Central Dewitt, 12-1

11. Grinnell, 9-3

12. Mason City, 8-7

The Mohawks have been victims of a brutal schedule over the past month, but have won three of their past five games, and last week, celebrated as Anna Deets became only the seventh player in program history to score 1000 career points.

The Mohawks have several tough games remaining, and have some heavy lifting to do if they want to go deep into the postseason. Luckily, they have Deets to help get them there. 

13. Carroll, 9-4

14. ADM, 9-4

15. Clear Creek-Amana, 12-3

Class 5A

1. Iowa City High, 12-0

2. Johnston, 13-2

3. Dowling Catholic, 13-2

4. Cedar Rapids-Prairie, 13-0

5. Waukee, 11-2

6. SE Polk, 14-1

7. Cedar Falls, 9-4

8. Waterloo West, 11-3

9. Urbandale, 12-3

10. Ankeny Centennial, 8-7

11. Davenport North, 10-2

12. Ames, 8-6

13. West Des Moines Valley, 8-7

14. Bettendorf, 9-5

15. Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln, 11-3

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