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Kirkwood Womens Basketball

Kirkwood - Womens Basketball

Muhl signs 11 freshmen for Kirkwood hoops

Introductions could be in order when the Kirkwood women's basketball team assembles for practice this fall.

Coach Kim Muhl has signed 11 freshmen and hopes to add a pair of college transfers to the mix as well, giving the Eagles as many as 13 new players on the roster for the 2016-17 campaign.

Only two players - Deleyah Harris and Rylee Voss - plan to return from this year's club as sophomores, giving Muhl a big rebuilding job as he enters his 28th year at Kirkwood.

Junior college coaches have to rebuild their teams every year, since nobody can play for more than two seasons at this level, and Muhl sounds unperturbed by the challenge.

"I think it's the nature of the beast at this level," he said. "The freshmen come in a little bit hungrier. Some figure it out, some don't. It's OK."

Kirkwood had six freshmen on the team this past season, but Amber Lemons, Mesha Wheatly, Ariana Dampier and Dominique Jennings will not be returning from a club that finished 27-6. That leaves Harris, a starting guard, and Voss, a reserve center, as the only two returnees.

Six of the 11 new freshmen are from Iowa, including local products Olivia Usher from Cedar Rapids Prairie and Candace Wilson from Cedar Valley Christian. The other in-state recruits are Awal Ajak of Des Moines East, Ashley Hedges of Burlington Notre Dame, Nyachristmas Puok of Des Moines East and Olivia Schmidt of North Scott.

"I like them," said Muhl. "They're athletic and they're Iowa kids that we could get to like us."

Usher, who is 5-foot-9, averaged 13.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 steals for the Prairie Hawks, who finished 11-12.

"She's intelligent and she knows the game," said Muhl. "And she's a strong kid."

Wilson, who is 5-foot-5, averaged 19.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 3.2 assists in her only season at Cedar Valley Christian, which finished with a 10-11 record.

"She's kind of under the radar," said Muhl. "She had big numbers all year. She can pass the ball. And she can hit 3's. She's got some skills."

Ajak and Puok, a pair of 6-footers, helped Des Moines East finish 13-9 last season. Ajak averaged 11.4 points and 5.1 rebounds, while Puok contributed 5.7 points and 4.5 rebounds.

"Awal has a big-time upside," Muhl remarked. "She could be pretty special."

Schmidt, who is 5-foot-8, averaged 12.0 points and 3.0 rebounds at North Scott, helping the Lancers finish 18-5. Hedges, also 5-foot-8, averaged 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds at Burlington Notre Dame, which finished 24-2.

Muhl also has signed Kelsey Achenbach of Prairie du Chien, Wis., Megan Axcell of Knoxville, Ill., TiRayah Cotton of Omaha, Niaja Taylor from Rockford, Ill., and Tayana Wilson from County Club Hills, Ill.

"We've got a good group," said Muhl.

There is not great size in the new group, but Muhl likes their athletic ability and long arms. He plans to use more full-court pressure next season to raise the tempo even higher.

"This group is going to be interesting," he said. "It's very competitive right now. All of these kids are pretty darn athletic. And long.

"We guard pretty good, but we're going to guard better with length."

Five of the sophomores on this year's team will continue their basketball careers at four-year schools. Cyerra Hutchins and Addie Oberman are headed to Loras College, Casey Miles has signed with Upper Iowa, A.J. Downs is headed to Indiana Tech and All-American Madison Wood has signed with Eastern Kentucky.

Caitlin Sudduth also wants to play at a four-year school, but had not made a decision as of Wednesday.






Kirkwood - Womens Basketball

Madison Wood signs with Eastern Kentucky

Kirkwood Community College center Madison Wood has signed a national letter-of-intent to continue her basketball career at Eastern Kentucky University.

Wood, a 6-foot-3 sophomore from Cedar Falls, was named a second team All-American this season. She led Kirkwood in three major categories with 11.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. The Eagles finished 27-6 and won the ICCAC conference title.

Eastern Kentucky, located in Richmond, Ky., is an NCAA Division I school that competes in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Colonels finished 18-12 overall and 10-6 in the league this season.


Kirkwood - Womens Basketball

Rhodes, Wood named JUCO All-Americans

Hunter Rhodes and Madison Wood of Kirkwood Community College have been named NJCAA Division II All-Americans.

Rhodes, a 6-foot sophomore from Canton, Ill., was named a first team All-American this season. He helped Kirkwood win the national title and finish with a 31-4 record.

Rhodes led the Eagles with 12.6 points and 4.1 assists. He also averaged 3.0 rebounds.

Wood, a 6-3 sophomore from Cedar Falls, was named a second team All-American. She led the Eagles with 11.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. Kirkwood won the ICCAC conference title and finished 27-6.


Kirkwood - Womens Basketball

No. 3 KCC women ousted by No. 15 DMACC

Kim Muhl would love to win a seventh national title at Kirkwood before he calls it a career as the women's basketball coach, but it won't happen this year.

The third-ranked Eagles were eliminated by No. 15 DMACC, 66-54, in the semifinals of the NJCAA Division II regional tournament Thursday night at Johnson Hall in a mild upset.

Kirkwood swept the season series from the Bears, but the visitors from Boone played a sharp game while the Eagles struggled mightily on offense. Kirkwood made only one 3-pointer in 18 attempts for a woeful 5.6 percent and committed 22 turnovers.

"We weren't very good, were we?" were the first words out of Muhl's mouth after the game. "Pretty bad. Can't do much about it. Can't hit a shot."

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 March 2016 22:59



Kirkwood - Womens Basketball

Kirkwood women cruise in regional

The top-seeded Kirkwood women’s basketball team cruised past Ellsworth, 103-51, in an ICCAC regional quarterfinal game Tuesday at Johnson Hall.

Kirkwood (27-5) advanced to face No. 4 seeded DMACC in a semifinal game at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Johnson Hall.

Addie Oberman made six 3-point goals and finished with 20 points for the Eagles. Madison Wood scored 14 points, Cyerra Hutchins and Ariana Dampler each had 10 points and Deleyah Harris grabbed seven rebounds.

KIRKWOOD (103): Harris 2 1-2 6, Lemons 3 3-4 9, Miles 2 4-4 9, Downs 3 0-2 6, Wheatly 0 0-0 0, Oberman 7 0-0 20, Sudduth 3 0-2 9, Voss 2 1-2 5, Hutchins 4 1-1 10, Dampler 5 0-0 10, Jennings 2 1-2 5, Wood 6 2-4 14. Totals 39 13-23 103.

3-point goals – Kirkwood 12 (Oberman 6, Sudduth 3, Harris, Miles, Hutchins).


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