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

Metro Sports Report

Muhl, Eagles do the right thing

When it comes to picking between good sportsmanship or embarrassing a weaker opponent, Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl will do the right thing every time.

It happened again Wednesday night.

The Kirkwood women's basketball team is locked in a fierce battle with NIACC for the No. 1 seed in the regional tournament that begins next week and the tiebreaker could be each team's point differential against all the other teams in the league.

Every point could matter, but Muhl will not deliberately run up the score when a game is completely out of hand.

The Eagles were sitting on a 91-43 lead and had the ball with 20 seconds left Wednesday against Southwestern, but Muhl told his team to hold the ball and let time expire.

The difference between a 48-point victory or a 50-point victory does not sound like much, but it might be important when the final calculations are made Saturday once the regular season is over.

Meanwhile, NIACC rolled up a 131-56 victory over Ellsworth Wednesday night for a 75-point margin against an opponent that has not won a ballgame all season.


No. 5 KCC men roll by Southwestern

The Kirkwood Eagles played terrific basketball for 12 minutes Wednesday night and so-so hoops for 28 minutes.

It was plenty good enough.

The fifth-ranked Eagles spanked Southwestern, 77-55, in an ICCAC men's basketball game at Johnson Hall.

Kirkwood finished the last eight minutes of the first half with a resounding 21-2 surge, then outscored the visitors 10-0 during the first four minutes of the second half.

That 31-2 blitz gave the Eagles total control of the ballgame, raising the score to 53-23.

"We got consecutive stops," said Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen. "That's something we always preach. Try to get two or three stops in a row, because that usually allows you to go on a run.

"I think it started with our defense and we were able to get out in transition for some easier looks."

Devonte Thedford, who joined the starting lineup several weeks ago, fueled the 21-2 run at the end of the first half with 10 points on strong drives to the basket.


Mustangs clinch berth in playoffs

The Mount Mercy men's basketball team came through in the clutch  Wednesday night.

The Mustangs whipped Grand View, 83-68, in a Heart of America  Conference game at the Hennessey Recreation Center to clinch a spot in  the league playoffs that begin next week.

Mount Mercy (16-14, 11-13) will play a first-round game in the  conference tournament next Tuesday.

Mohammed Albagami led five Mustangs into double figures with 20  points. Mychael Brawner-Henley scored 19, Antwain Strong 16, Dennis  McKinney 15 and Mike Evans 11. Strong also had eight rebounds and  seven assists.

Brawner-Henley popped in five 3-pointers, Albagami hit four triples  and Strong had three. McKinney grabbed seven rebounds and  Brawner-Henley had six.


Mustangs fall in final second, 67-65

A three-day reprieve did not help the Mount Mercy men's basketball  team Tuesday night and now the Mustangs are in danger of missing the  Heart of America Conference playoffs.

Mount Mercy lost to Central Methodist, 67-65, in a game that began  Saturday and was postponed to Tuesday with 16:10 left in the second  half due to moisture falling on the court at the Hennessey Recreation  Center.

The Mustangs trailed 40-36 when the game resumed and took a few small  leads, but they never got rolling and lost when Isaiah Thurmond made a  driving layup with 1.1 seconds left.

Mychael Brawner-Henley hit a clutch 3-pointer for Mount Mercy with  20.5 seconds remaining to tie the game at 65-65, but the Mustangs were  not able to stop Thurmond from getting to the basket for the  game-winner.

"You have all this time to prepare for the last 16:10 and we didn't  execute," said Mount Mercy Coach Aaron Jennings. "There were things we  were supposed to take away and for some reason we did not do that.


No. 7 Eagles cruise to 8-0 record

AUSTIN, Minn. - The Kirkwood softball team won a pair of lopsided  games at the Packer Dome on Sunday.

The seventh-ranked Eagles smacked Ellsworth, 20-3, and knocked off  Bryant & Stratton, 12-3, in a pair of five-inning contests.

Kirkwood has gotten off to a perfect 8-0 start this season under new  coach Eric Frese.

Lauren Klaahsen went 4-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs in the game  against Ellsworth. Jayme Finn was 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Taleah  Smith, London Jackson, Lauren Kuch, Sydney Albaugh, Jessi Butler and  Courtney Harris all had two base hits.

Jackson and Kuch belted home runs. Butler scored four times and Kuch  scored three runs. Jackson and Randyn Carter drove in two runs.


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