Friday, November 16, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

KCC volleyball makes national semifinals

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The Kirkwood women's volleyball team won both of its matches at the NJCAA Division II national tournament Thursday and will be playing in the semifinals Friday night.

Kirkwood (34-8) will face top-seeded Coffeyville (38-3) Friday at 5:30 p.m. for the right to play for the national title on Saturday.

The Eagles, seeded No. 5 in the tournament, rolled by Carl Sandburg, 25-14, 25-18, 25-13, in their first match Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center in West Virginia.

Kirkwood then knocked off No. 4 South Mountain in a five-set thriller, 21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 16-25, 15-13, in the quarterfinals with a clutch performance in the fifth and final set.

Alexa Aldrich-Ingram collected 18 kills and five blocks in the 3-0 victory over Carl Sandburg. Haleigh Durnin had 11 kills, Sami Johnson six, Taylor Carey six, Abbi Tunis five and Lauren Keane three.


Pickens finds new home at Kirkwood

Allante Pickens never planned to become a scientist when he enrolled at Missouri University of Science and Technology last year, but he's obviously a smart guy.

"That was the only scholarship offer I had," he said Wednesday night. "I took the opportunity and I took advantage of it."

Now Pickens is taking advantage of a new opportunity at Kirkwood Community College.

Pickens scored 18 points and steered the fifth-ranked Eagles to an 84-71 victory over Marshalltown Community College in a non-conference game at Johnson Hall.

Pickens averaged 11.1 points at Missouri Science and Technology as a freshman, but the Miners struggled through a 3-23 campaign and he decided to transfer.

Kirkwood recruited him in high school in Chicago, so he contacted KCC Coach Bryan Petersen about the possibility of joining the Eagles. Kirkwood needed a new point guard and Pickens needed a new school.

"This is a great program," said Pickens, who plays a lot bigger than his listed size of 5-foot-8. "I'm having fun. It's the most fun I've had in a long time. It's going to be a great year."


Clarke bounces Mount Mercy men

DUBUQUE - The Mount Mercy men's basketball team fell behind by 22 points at halftime Wednesday night and lost to Clarke, 87-73, in the Heart of America Conference opener in Dubuque.

Antwain Strong led the Mustangs (2-2, 0-1) with 22 points. Bailey Basala scored 12 points and Mike Evans added 10.

Clarke (2-2, 1-0) saw five players reach double figures, with Darius Lasley leading the way with 17 points. Staci Richardson had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Clarke won the battle of the boards, 38-28.


Mustang women fall at Clarke

DUBUQUE - The Mount Mercy women's basketball team lost to Clarke, 80-63, Wednesday night in the Heart of America Conference opener in Dubuque.

Brianna Thomas led the Mustangs (3-1, 0-1) with 19 points and eight rebounds. Sharice Kawakami scored 16 points.

Clarke (5-0, 1-0) had a balanced attack with five players in double figures. Faith Begin led the way with 14 points. Tina Ubl and Makenna Haase had double-doubles for the winners. Ubl finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Haase had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Clarke crushed Mount Mercy on the backboards, 52-32.


Lindstrom, Cortes excited about NAIA races

James Lindstrom and Vanessa Cortes could have run all the way to Cedar Rapids from their homes in California with all the miles they've registered with the Mount Mercy cross country teams during their careers.

Now Lindstrom and Cortes will be running the most significant miles of their lives - actually, kilometers - when they compete in the 63rd annual NAIA national cross country meets at Seminole Valley Park in Cedar Rapids on Friday.

The women's 5K race is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., with the men's 8K race to follow at 11:30.

Lindstrom, a senior from Apple Valley, Calif., finished third at the Heart of America Conference meet two weeks ago and is aiming for All-American honors at the NAIA meet. Cortes, a junior from Bakersfield, Calif., placed fourth at the conference meet and is hoping for a solid performance as well.

There will be 36 full teams in each race, along with 93 at-large individuals in the women's contest and 83 at-large runners in the men's competition. That makes for approximately 700 runners all told.


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