Tuesday, April 24, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

No. 2 KCC women win 14th straight

The graduating sophomores on the Kirkwood women's basketball team were honored after their choppy victory over Iowa Lakes on Saturday, but otherwise there was not a whole lot to celebrate at Johnson Hall.

It took the second-ranked Eagles more than seven minutes to make their first field goal in a sluggish 59-44 outing that lacked passion and execution for most of the afternoon.

"That was an ugly one," Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl acknowledged.

Pretty or not, the Eagles raised their records to 24-3 overall and 10-0 in the conference with their 14th win a row. The Eagles own a three-game lead in the ICCAC standings with four games remaining as they march toward another league title.

Muhl was happy to leave the gym with a 15-point victory considering the circumstances on Sophomore Day.

"It's hard when it's snowing and they're worried about their parents getting here. They lose focus," he said.



KCC softball begins with 2 shutouts

DAVENPORT - The seventh-ranked Kirkwood softball team began the 2018 season by collecting a pair of shutouts at the Winter Dome Tournament in Davenport on Saturday.

The Eagles blanked the Saint Ambrose junior varsity, 7-0, in their first outing and topped Waubonsee, 6-0, in the second game.

DoniRae Mayhew pitched five innings in the first game for Kirkwood. She allowed three hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Alli Sprague tossed the last two innings to complete the five-hit shutout.

Audra Bridenstine collected three RBIs in the victory over Saint Ambrose. Sonya McCormick, a transfer from Iowa Central, had two hits and two RBIs in her first game with the Eagles.

Natalie Halvorson, a freshman from Cedar Rapids Prairie, pitched a complete game in the 6-0 verdict over Waubonsee. She allowed only four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 February 2018 05:56



Kirkwood softball begins year at No. 7

Their two-time National Player of the Year is now patrolling the outfield at Iowa State. Their All-American pitcher, an All-American catcher, an All-American left fielder and two other all-Region selections are gone from last year's club as well.

Despite losing all that talent, Kirkwood softball coach Joe Yegge does not think the Eagles are rebuilding as they enter the 2018 campaign. Reloading is more like it.

"I hate to use the word rebuilding," he said, "because we think we have enough tradition here that we're never rebuilding."

It's hard to argue.

Yegge has compiled a formidable mark of 488-99 in 10 years at Kirkwood. That includes eight ICCAC conference titles, five regional titles, five district titles and five trips to the NJCAA Division II World Series.

The Eagles have 13 freshmen on the team and only six sophomores, so it's a young ballclub. And there are definitely are big shoes to fill.



Wilson lifts No. 2 Eagles at buzzer

MASON CITY - Tay Wilson hit a 15-footer with one second remaining Wednesday night to snap a 68-68 tie and give the second-ranked Kirkwood Eagles a riveting 70-68 victory over 13th-ranked NIACC in an ICCAC conference game in Mason City.

The win gave the Kirkwood women a commanding three-game lead in the conference standings over NIACC and DMACC with five games left in the season.

Kirkwood led NIACC by three points, 68-65, with time dwindling, but NIACC hit a long 3-pointer from about 28 feet to tie the game at 68-68 with eight seconds left.

Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl called a timeout and instructed his players to feed Arika Wooldridge near the basket. Wooldridge got the ball and fed Wilson near the elbow of the foul line for the game-winning shot.

The Eagles raised their records to 23-3 overall and 9-0 in the conference with their 13th straight victory. NIACC fell to 19-6 overall and 6-3 in the league.

Kirkwood has won its nine conference games by an average of 23.8 points, but NIACC has given the Eagles their tightest games of the ICCAC campaign by far. Kirkwood won by nine points, 68-59, in Cedar Rapids earlier this season before the two-point squeaker Wednesday night.



Wilson powers No. 6 Eagles by NIACC

MASON CITY - Doug Wilson scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds Wednesday night as the sixth-ranked Kirkwood Eagles dumped NIACC, 78-49, in an ICCAC conference game in Mason City.

The Eagles raised their records to 19-4 overall and 8-0 in the league with their 11th straight win. Kirkwood leads the ICCAC standings by two games with four games left in the regular season.

The Eagles can clinch at least a tie for the league title Saturday when they host Iowa Lakes, which sits in second place in the conference with a 6-2 record.

Chris King popped in five 3-pointers and contributed 17 points for Kirkwood. LJ Stansbury added 10 points.



No. 7 Eagles ride 3-pointers to victory

It's a good thing Bryan Petersen did not forbid his guys from shooting any more 3-pointers after the Kirkwood Eagles missed 16 of them in the first half Saturday.

When it counted, the Eagles hit nothing but net.

Kirkwood popped in six straight 3-pointers during a key stretch in the second half to break open a close game and bounce Iowa Central, 85-79, in a conference game at Johnson Hall.

The Eagles were clinging to a 52-48 lead when the 3-point barrage began with eight minutes remaining.

Carlo Marble began the flurry with a triple from the corner. Ethan Meeker followed with a 3-pointer, then Bailey Kale connected from behind the arc to join the fun.

Marble hit another trey, Meeker followed suit and Marble capped the impressive display with another 3-pointer to give Kirkwood a 73-56 advantage with a four-minute onslaught from behind the arc.



No. 2 Eagles pass chemistry test

The Kirkwood Eagles feel good about themselves when they make a good play, but they seem happiest when one of their teammates does something even better.

It's called chemistry and it's been a key ingredient for the second-ranked Eagles this season.

Kirkwood collected its 12th straight victory Saturday and remained in control of the ICCAC conference race with an 80-39 victory over Iowa Central in a women's basketball game at Johnson Hall.

Sophomore point guard Tay Wilson led the Eagles (22-3, 8-0) with 19 points, five steals and four assists, but her biggest smiles were for the other Eagles who joined the fun.

Freshman Mackenzie Jenkins popped off the bench and popped in four 3-pointers for 14 points. Sophomore Megan Axcell hit three triples and scored 11 points in the triumph. Many other Eagles also played well and there were lots of smiles go around.



Usher commits to Kirkwood baseball

If Levi Usher plays college baseball, he'll stay in the neighborhood and play for the Kirkwood Eagles.

It could be a big "if," however.

Usher, a senior at Cedar Rapids Prairie, would be tempted to skip college and play pro baseball if he's selected high enough in the major league draft this June and likes the offer.

"I would be very tempted," he told the Metro Sports Report Sunday evening. "It's something my parents and I have talked about. I think I'm ready for it.

"We'll see how the spring goes and how I play."

Usher is a fleet center fielder who hit .468 with seven homers, 34 RBIs and 37 stolen bases for Prairie last season as a junior. He's ranked as the No. 2 high school prospect in Iowa by Perfect Game USA and the 82nd best high school player in the country.

If he goes high enough in the draft and is offered a lucrative signing bonus, he'll head straight to the minor leagues. If the draft does not turn out the way he wants, he'll head to Kirkwood and play for the Eagles in 2019.



Wilson helps No. 8 Eagles top DMACC

Doug Wilson used to treat visits to the free throw line like he was going to the dentist.

Now it seems like he's going to the candy store when he gets fouled. And he's taking the Kirkwood Eagles along for the goodies.

Wilson made DMACC pay at the foul line Saturday as the eighth-ranked Eagles beat the Bears, 83-73, in an ICCAC conference game at Johnson Hall.

Wilson cashed 8 of 10 foul shots at key times and scored a game-high 20 points as Kirkwood maintained a two-game lead in the conference at the halfway point of the campaign.

This past Wednesday night, Wilson was 8 for 11 at the charity stripe and poured in a career-best 34 points as the Eagles won a big game at Ellsworth.

Adding those numbers together, the 6-foot-7 freshman from Des Moines is 16 for 21 at the foul line the last two games for 76.2 percent. Prior to that, he was a poor 20 of 55 for 36.4 percent.

Practice. Practice. Practice.



Muhl nets 850th win as Eagles soar

The showdown for the conference lead turned into another showcase for the Kirkwood women's basketball team Saturday.

It also produced the 850th victory for Coach Kim Muhl in his Hall of Fame career with the Eagles.

The second-ranked Eagles jumped to a 22-2 lead in the first quarter and pelted 14th-ranked DMACC, 84-45, at Johnson Hall to grab a two-game lead in the ICCAC conference standings.

"It was a good win for us," said Muhl. "They dialed in."

Muhl raised his record to a sizzling 850-150 in exactly 1,000 games at Kirkwood in 29 years. He's already won seven NJCAA Division II national titles and has a shot at No. 8 this season.

Muhl, 62, brushed aside a question about making a run for 1,000 wins before he's through.

"I'm going for 851," he said, laughing.

Kirkwood raised its records to 21-3 overall and 7-0 in the conference with its 11th straight victory. The league's two alphabet schools, DMACC and NIACC, are both 5-2 at the mid-point of the race.



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