Thursday, December 13, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Mustangs snap 7-game slide

The Mount Mercy women's basketball team snapped a seven-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 72-65 victory over Harris-Stowe State at the Hennessey Recreation Center.

The Mustangs (4-7) had not won a ballgame since Nov. 6, a five-week drought that included a 23-point loss to Harris-Stowe in Missouri, so revenge was sweet.

Brianna Thomas popped in six 3-pointers and led Mount Mercy with 22 points. She hit a triple with 7:01 left to snap a 53-53 tie and give the Mustangs the lead for good and start a 9-0 run.

Harris-Stowe (4-5) pulled within 62-60 and 65-62, but Mount Mercy finished the victory.


Richards plans double-duty at Kirkwood

Olivia Richards plans to become the fourth member of her family to play volleyball in college, but she’s going to do something her three older sisters never tried.

Richards plans to play volleyball and softball at Kirkwood Community College after she graduates from Xavier High School this spring.

She’ll become the third member of her family to play volleyball for Coach Jill Williams at Kirkwood. Her sister Audrey played at Kirkwood in 2013 and 2014, then Madsy played for the Eagles in 2015 and 2016. Charlotte did not play at Kirkwood and is currently a freshman at Missouri-St. Louis, where she and Madsy are teammates on the volleyball team.

It’s fairly common for talented athletes to play multiple sports in high school, but it’s rare for people to play two sports in college because of the time demands. College volleyball is a fall sport, but the Kirkwood softball team practices in the fall as well. The college softball season begins in late winter and extends into the spring, but the volleyball team practices then as well.

"It's going to be hard," Richards acknowledged, but she's excited about the challenge.


Kasperbauer triples his fun with Eagles

Connor Kasperbauer is one of the sweetest 3-point shooters in junior college basketball this season and he's been a sweet, sweet addition to the Kirkwood Eagles.

Kasperbauer popped in seven 3-pointers Saturday and scored 23 points as the fourth-ranked Eagles topped Little Priest Tribal College, 82-64, in an ICCAC conference game at Johnson Hall.

Kasperbauer, a 6-foot-4 redshirt freshman from Ankeny, is 39-for-77 on 3-pointers this year for 50.6 percent. That's the highest percentage of any NJCAA Division II player in the country who has made at least 3 1/2 triples per game.

He tossed in eight 3-pointers against Morton College last month and has hit at least two triples in all 11 games.

"I've always been told, 'Shooters shoot,'" he remarked. "Every time I'm open I step up with confidence and I know there's a pretty good chance it's going in.

"A lot of times I don't look," he said. "It just feels good."

Kasperbauer normally sets up in the corner and his teammates do a good job of finding him.

"He's a great shooter, a really high IQ, a really great teammate," said Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen. "There's a lot of great things to say about Connor."

Kasperbauer made 115 3-pointers during his prep career at Ankeny Centennial and set the school record for most triples in one season. He made third team all-state and spent one year at Truman State University, where he was red-shirted last season and moved to Kirkwood.


Bradford, Tull pace No. 13 Eagles

Paige Bradford and Ashley Tull stole the show for the 13th-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team Saturday afternoon.

Bradford and Tull, a pair of freshman centers who share playing time in the post, combined for 32 points and 23 rebounds as the Eagles dumped Little Priest Tribal College, 77-44, in an ICCAC conference game at Johnson Hall.

Bradford, from Davenport, collected 17 points and 12 rebounds. Tull, from Troy Mills, finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Kirkwood led 31-23 after a fairly tight first half, but the Eagles blitzed the visitors 28-7 in the third quarter to take command.


Mustangs trimmed by Nazarene, 86-83

OLATHE, Kan. - Bailey Basala had a chance to be a hero for the Mount Mercy Mustangs for the second time in six days Saturday, but this time his 3-pointer in the final seconds did not ring true.

The Mustangs lost to MidAmerica Nazarene, 86-83, in a Heart of America Conference game when Basala missed a 3-pointer with three seconds left that could have forced overtime.

This past Monday, Basala canned a 3-pointer with a half-second remaining to give Mount Mercy a 93-90 victory over St. Ambrose.

Basala hit five triples Saturday and led the Mustangs (5-5, 2-4) with 17 points off the bench. Dennis McKinney scored 16 points, Mychael Brawner-Henley 14 and Antwain Strong 10.

Mount Mercy fell behind by 15 points in the first half, but fought back and held several small leads in the contest.

McKinney gave the Mustangs an 80-79 lead with 3:55 remaining with a 3-pointer, then he gave the Mustangs an 83-81 advantage with another triple with 2:16 left.


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