Friday, March 22, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

No. 1 Eagles claw past Niagara County

DANVILLE, Ill. - Winning a national championship is never easy, no  matter how good you are.

The Kirkwood Eagles learned that lesson Wednesday night but lived to  play another day.

The top-ranked Eagles clawed past Niagara County of New York, 80-65,  in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA Division II tournament and will play  in the semifinals Friday night.

Kirkwood (29-4) will face Erie (N.Y.) or Milwaukee Area Tech in the  next round. Erie, the No. 4 seed, and Milwaukee Tech, the No. 5 seed,  meet in the quarterfinals Thursday night.

Devonte Thedford, Kirkwood's top point guard, was called for two  charging fouls in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the game and watched the  rest of the first half from the bench, but the Eagles rallied for a  35-31 edge at intermission after trailing by eight points.

Thedford scored seven straight points to start the second half and the  Eagles appeared on their way, but he was called for his third foul  with 15:25 remaining and headed to the bench again for the next six  minutes.

Fortunately for Kirkwood, Thedford did not collect another foul and  wound up with 21 points in just 16 minutes, 28 seconds of action. He  killed Niagara County at the foul line, hitting 15 of 17 free throws.


No. 4 Eagles sweep NE Oklahoma again

MIAMI, Okla. - The Kirkwood softball team collected 32 hits Wednesday  and swept a doubleheader from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, 7-4 and 11-7  in nine innings in Oklahoma.

The fourth-ranked Eagles swept Northeastern Oklahoma A&M for the  second straight day and raised their record to 17-4.

London Jackson went 2-for-3 with two runs, a homer and two RBIs in the  7-4 victory in the opener. Lauren Klaahsen was 2-for-4 and drove in  two runs. Lauren Kuch scored twice. Eric Hocker pitched a complete  game for the victory.

Kuch went 4-for-6 with two doubles and drove in four runs in the 11-7  verdict in the nightcap. Rachel Stewart, Klaahsen and Randyn Carter  had three hits. Carter hit a home run, scored three times and drove in  two runs.


Faur helps Mustangs split with Penn

Jake Faur was the winning pitcher and belted a home run Wednesday to  help Mount Mercy top William Penn, 11-2, in the first game of a Heart  of America Conference doubleheader at the Plaster Athletic Complex.

William Penn took the nightcap, 2-1.

The split left Mount Mercy at 9-12 overall and 6-7 in the conference.  William Penn is 17-4 overall and 3-1 in the league.

Faur allowed only one earned run in five innings in the 11-2 victory  in the first game. He struck out six batters.


No. 1 Eagles roll at national tourney

DANVILLE, Ill. - The Kirkwood Eagles looked like the No. 1 team in the  country Tuesday afternoon.

The top-ranked Eagles built a 21-point lead in the first half and  thrashed North Central Missouri, 96-66, in the first round of the  NJCAA Division II national tournament at the Mary Miller Center.

Kirkwood (28-4) will face Niagara County (N.Y.), a 73-61 winner over Wake Tech (N.C.), in the quarterfinals Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Allante Pickens popped in five 3-pointers in the first half and had 17  points by intermission, with the Eagles sitting on a 53-32 lead at  that point. He finished with six triples and 24 markers. Pickens shot  9-for-10 overall from the field and 6-for-7 on 3-pointers.

Doug Wilson and Devonte Thedford scored 13 points apiece for Kirkwood.  Jamal Stephenson netted 12 points off the bench and Connor Kasperbauer  contributed 10 points. Wilson had 10 rebounds.

"I thought we played pretty well," said Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen.  "For spurts, we really executed defensively. And offensively we made  some shots."


Kirkwood baseball wins 8th straight

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - The Kirkwood baseball team won its eighth  straight game Tuesday by sweeping a doubleheader from Sussex County,  16-4 and 12-2 in six innings.

The Eagles finished their trip to Florida with an 8-1 record, raising  their overall mark to 10-6.

Jamarion Loston went 5-for-7 in the twinbill and scored six runs for  Kirkwood. He went 2-for-3 with three runs in the 16-4 verdict in Game  1, then was 3-for-4 and scored three more times in the 12-2 victory in  the nightcap.

Corbin Day pitched a complete game and allowed only one earned run in  the 16-4 victory. He struck out nine batters in the seven-inning  contest.

Levi Usher went 4-for-5 in the opener with a double, triple and scored  twice. Joel Thompson was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and five  RBIs. Kal Youngquist was 2-for-4 with a homer, two runs and four RBIs.


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