Thursday, March 23, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Ehresman, Yost join Iowa softball league

Kasiah Ehresman of Coe and Bradi Yost of Ellsworth are the latest college players to join the new Iowa Women's Softball League.

Ehresman and Yost are the 34th and 35th players to join the program, which is intended for all active college players in Iowa and for all Iowans who are competing at out-of-state schools.

Ehresman, a freshman infielder at Coe, was one of the most prolific stolen-bases artists in the country during her high school career at Lynnville-Sully. She stole 218 bases during her four years on the  varsity, a total that puts her No. 2 all-time in Iowa and No. 6 all-time in the country, according to the National Federation of High  Schools (NFHS).


Ehresman was rarely caught on the bases and was thrown out only 10 times, finishing 218 of 228 in her career. She was 29 for 31 as a  freshman, 61 of 64 as a sophomore, 61 of 63 as a junior, and 67 of 70 as a senior.

Ehresman twice hit over .500 at Lynnville-Sully, batting .564 in 2014 and .540 in 2015, and scored 196 runs in 154 games.

Yost, a sophomore at Ellsworth Community College, is a versatile  player as a pitcher, first baseman and outfielder. She was named first  team all-region last year as a utility player after hitting .374 with nine homers and 24 RBIs and also serving as the No. 2 pitcher at Ellsworth.

Yost began pitching for the varsity at Aplington-Parkersburg High  School as an eighth grader. She made several all-conference and  all-district teams and received Honorable Mention all-state honors during her career.


Eagles beat No. 1 Spartans on Meeker's 3

The Kirkwood Eagles delivered a bold statement at Johnson Hall  Saturday afternoon.

Ethan Meeker provided the exclamation point.

Meeker hit a 3-pointer from deep in the corner with two seconds left  to snap a 75-75 tie and give Kirkwood a 78-75 victory over top-ranked  Southwestern before a festive crowd at home.

The 12th-ranked Eagles handed Southwestern its first loss of the  season and moved into a tie with the Spartans for first place in the  ICCAC conference with 6-1 records.

The Eagles announced to the world that they are fully capable of  winning the national title again this year. And Meeker proved that's  fully capable of delivering in the clutch.

"I knew I had to get it off quick," said Meeker, a freshman from  Galesburg, Ill. "I knew I didn't have time for a dribble or anything.

"It looked pretty good, but I was holding my breath until it dropped.  It was pretty nuts."

There was a terrific atmosphere at Johnson Hall for the showdown  between two of the premier junior college teams in the country and the  Eagles celebrated with their fans when it was over.


Ajak hurt as No. 1 Eagles reach 24-0

The top-ranked Kirkwood Eagles raised their record to 24-0 Saturday  with a 93-71 victory over Southwestern, but there was no big  celebration or high-fives after the game.

The Eagles were too worried about freshman Awal Ajak to relish the  latest triumph in their perfect season.

Ajak, a talented 6-foot freshman from Des Moines, hurt her left knee  in the third quarter and left the gym on crutches. The extent of the  injury will be determined in the next few days, but Coach Kim Muhl  thinks it could be significant.

"I'm not optimistic," he said. "It's not good, I don't think. We'll see."

Ajak got hurt when she hustled back on defense following an errant  pass by the Eagles. She crumpled under the basket and spent several  minutes on the floor while being examined by the Kirkwood trainer  before being helped to the locker room.

"It starts with a bad pass," said Muhl. "You throw it away, you've got  to run it down and bad stuff happens."

Ajak has been a key reserve for Kirkwood, averaging 8.1 points and 3.7  rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game. The Eagles have a deep squad, but  her absence would be significant.

Southwestern (12-10, 3-5) gave Kirkwood a good game in the first half.  The visitors drained nine 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes and  trailed by only four points at intermission, 46-42.


Gerke gets 100th pin, heads to state

Xavier senior Josh Gerke collected three pins at the Class 3A district  wrestling tournament Saturday and is headed to the state tournament  with 101 pins in his career.

Gerke, Patrick Chambers and Alex Francois all finished second in their  weight classes for the Saints and qualified for state as district  runners-up.

Gerke lost to Caleb Conway of Marion, 4-2 in overtime, in the  championship at 145 pounds. Gerke (38-3) has lost only three times all  season, and all three setbacks have been to Conway.

Gerke began the tournament with pins in 2:18 and 2:42 before being  nipped by Conway. Gerke got his third pin in the wrestle-back for  second place to make the state meet for the second straight year.

Gerke is only the third wrestler in Metro history to reach 100 pins.  Matt Wycoff recorded 124 pins for Marion from 1997-2000 and is the  all-time Metro leader. Alijah Jeffery had 105 pins for Linn-Mar from  2011-14.


Saints tame Lions for 8th straight

The Xavier girls basketball team has not lost a game in four weeks and  is riding an eight-game winning streak heading into the postseason,  matching their longest victory streak in six years.

If the Saints can win two more games in a row, they'll finish the  season at the Class 4A state tournament in Des Moines.

The sixth-ranked Saints held Linn-Mar to 16 points in the first three  quarters Friday night and hung on for a 40-35 victory in the final  game of the regular season at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

Xavier will take a 15-6 record into the regional semifinals next  Saturday night at home and would host the regional finals on Tuesday,  Feb. 21 if they are still alive.

"I like where we're at, except maybe free throws," said Xavier Coach  Tom Lilly after the Saints swept the season series from Linn-Mar for  the first time in five years.

The Saints finished only 11 for 21 at the free throw line, helping the  Lions chop a 14-point deficit to only four points in the final stages  before time ran out on the visitors.

Linn-Mar got back into the game with a trapping zone defense that  forced turnovers and left the Saints standing around too much, waiting  for something good to happen instead of being aggressive.

"We were holding on for dear life," said Lilly.


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