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Saturday, January 19, 2019
SCHEDULING NOTE: Kirkwood's ICCAC basketball doubleheader scheduled for Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. has been pushed back to 3 and 5 p.m....
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor
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Metro Sports Report

No. 4 Illinois Central tops No. 11 Eagles

PEORIA, Ill. - The Kirkwood Eagles have improved by 33 points in their  battles with Illinois Central this season, but it wasn't enough Sunday in the championship game of the Cougar Classic.

The 11th-ranked Eagles lost to No. 4 Illinois Central, 71-59, to finish second in the eight-team holiday tournament.

Illinois Central dumped Kirkwood, 94-49, when they met Dec. 10 in   Peoria, so the Eagles chopped their deficit from 45 points down to 12.

Illinois Central won its 14th straight game and raised its record to 14-1. Kirkwood fell to 11-5.

Mackenzie Jenkins led Kirkwood with 13 points. Ashley Tull netted 11 points and Anasha Hurst had 10. Tull, Hurst and Paige Bradford were named to the all-tournament team.

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No. 11 Eagles eye title at Cougar Classic

PEORIA, Ill. - Anasha Hurst popped in 16 points Saturday to help the Kirkwood women's basketball team defeat Parkland, 67-47, in the semifinals of the Cougar Classic holiday tournament.

The 11th-ranked Eagles (11-4) will face fourth-ranked Illinois Central (13-1) in the finals Sunday at 4 p.m.

Kirkwood and Parkland were tied at halftime, 23-23, but the Eagles outscored Parkland 44-24 in the second half for the comfortable 20-point victory in Illinois.

Paige Bradford contributed 12 points for Kirkwood and Ashley Tull chipped in with 10 markers.

Olivia Babcock scored 11 points for Parkland (9-3), which shot 30.2 percent from the field and was 2 for 24 on 3-pointers.

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No. 11 Eagles dump McHenry County

PEORIA, Ill. – The 11th-ranked Kirkwood Eagles demolished McHenry County, 89-28, in the opening round of the Cougar Classic holiday tournament Friday.

Kirkwood (10-4) will face Parkland (9-2) in the semifinals Saturday at 2 p.m.

Paige Bradford, Amara Lipsey and Haley Mullinnix led a balanced attack for the Eagles with 11 points apiece. Anasha Hurst contributed 10 points.

Kirkwood led 42-15 at halftime and outscored McHenry County 47-13 in the second half.

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Mount Mercy women stung by Bees

DAVENPORT - The Mount Mercy women's basketball team returned to action  after its holiday break Friday night and lost to Saint Ambrose, 82-64, in a non-conference game in Davenport.

The setback left the Mustangs with a 4-and-9 record for the 2018 portion of their campaign.

Brianna Thomas led Mount Mercy with 18 points and was the only Mustang to score in double figures. The Mustangs trailed by 16 points at halftime and drew within 10 points in the second half, but never recovered.

Candace Finnin scored 16 points for the Bees (11-4).

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Strong has dream job with Mustangs

Antwain Strong appears to be the happiest guy on the floor for the Mount Mercy men's basketball team, always smiling and laughing and occasionally talking to fans in the stands.

He's got a lot to be happy about.

Strong is an extremely talented point guard who is surrounded by terrific 3-point shooters. In fact, the Mustangs lead the nation in 3-point shooting and Strong ranks fifth in the NAIA in assists.

They did nothing to hurt those numbers Tuesday night.

Mount Mercy popped in 20 pointers - the second-most in school history - and posted a 102-85 victory over Viterbo in a non-conference game at the Hennessey Recreation Center.

The Mustangs set the school record for most 3-pointers in a single game when they tossed in 22 triples in a 107-84 victory at Viterbo in the season opener on Nov. 1.

No wonder Strong is always smiling. He loves being the point guard on a team with great marksmen.

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