Thursday, May 19, 2022
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Muhl collects 900th win with No. 1 Eagles

KEOKUK - Kim Muhl quietly and humbly collected his 900th victory as  the head coach of the Kirkwood women's basketball program Wednesday  night when the top-ranked Eagles clipped Southeastern, 73-66, in the  ICCAC conference opener in Keokuk.

There was no announcement to the crowd after the game. And there was  no celebration, no hugs and apparently no mention of the achievement  by Muhl's players in the locker room.

"I don't know if they knew or not. Which is good," he said during a  telephone interview on the bus ride back to Cedar Rapids.

Muhl did give himself a treat before heading home. "A hamburger at  Wendy's," he said, laughing.

Muhl, 64, has posted an incredible record at Kirkwood with 900 wins  and only 158 losses in 31 years, with seven national titles along the  way. As usual, he downplayed Wednesday's milestone.

"It's one of those things," he remarked. "You don't think about it  right now, because you're getting ready for Iowa Lakes on Saturday.  Maybe next summer I'll think about it.

"It's hard to believe you've been doing it this long," he allowed.  "Like they always say, time passes quickly."

Muhl said he's not sure if he'll stick around to reach 1,000 victories  in a few years, but acknowledged the thought of 1,000 is enticing.

"Oh, sure," he said. "But our program is not built on materialistic  things. And that's what (another milestone) means to me."

Muhl became only the fifth NJCAA coach to reach 900 career victories  and the first at the Division II level.

The top-ranked Eagles raised their record to 10-0, but the victory did  not come easily against Southeastern (5-5, 0-1). "No, I didn't think  it would," said Muhl. "They always play well down there."

Southeastern led at halftime, 35-34. Kirkwood was clinging to a  one-point lead after three quarters, 53-52, and had to outscore the  Blackhawks 10-3 in the final 2:58 of the game for the seven-point  victory.

Paige Bradford made all 12 of her shots from the field and led  Kirkwood with a career-high 27 points. "She was really good," said Muhl.

Amara Lipsey scored 11 points for the Eagles. Tatiana Hodges-Johnson  grabbed six rebounds. Ju Gaston had three assists and three steals.

Emma Knipe scored 15 points for Southeastern. The Blackhawks made 13  3-pointers, compared to only three for the Eagles.

KIRKWOOD (73): Paige Bradford 12-12 3-5 27, Tatiana Hodges-Johnsonn  1-8 3-6 5, Ju Gaston 2-4 4-4 8, Amara Lipsey 3-7 3-6 11, Marissa Metz  2-5 0-2 4, Delani Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Jheda Kennedy 1-3 0-0 2, Kortney  Drake 1-1 2-2 4, Addison Rath 0-1 0-0 0, Natalie Tomaszewski 3-5 0-2  7, Kemara Watson 2-5 1-2 5. Totals 27-51 16-29 73.

SOUTHEASTERN (66): Sasha Saccheus 1-2 2-2 5, D'Shanna Schuster 4-9 1-2  11, Destiny Trujillo 4-8 0-0 11, Shaniya Caldwell 3-7 3-6 9, Emma  Knipe 6-11 0-2 15, Kianna McWhite 4-12 0-0 12, Ana Cecilia 0-2 0-0 0,  Aryn Kindig 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 23-53 7-14 66.

Halftime - Southeastern 35, Kirkwood 34. 3-point goals - Kirkwood 3-17  (Lipsey 2-5, Tomaszewski 1-2, Watson 0-1, Kennedy 0-2, Gaston 0-2,  Metz 0-2, Hodges-Johnson 0-3), Southeastern 13-32 (McWhite 4-9,  Trujillo 3-5, Knipe 3-7, Schuster 2-6, Saccheus 1-1, Cecilia 0-1,  Kindig 0-1, Caldwell 0-2).


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