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Wednesday, February 22, 2017
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Metro Sports Report

Young, Onken join MSR softball league

Abbie Young of Ellsworth Community College and Hannah Onken of Wartburg are the latest college softball players to join the new Iowa Women's Softball League that will begin this year.

Young and Onken are the 32nd and 33rd players to join the program, which is intended for all active college players in Iowa and for all Iowans who are competing at out-of-state schools.

Seventeen different colleges have at least one player in the league.  The list includes Kirkwood, UNI, Coe, Mount Mercy, Luther, Wartburg,  Waldorf, Illinois State, Indian Hills, Loras, South Dakota State, Upper Iowa, DMACC, Western Illinois, Southeastern Community College, Indiana State and Ellsworth.

Kirkwood has the most players in the program with eight. There are three apiece from UNI and Coe.

(CLICK HERE TO REGISTER)

In addition, the 33 players hail from 25 different high schools. Solon leads the way with four former Spartans in the program and Kennedy has three graduates in the league.

Young, a second baseman, is a freshman at Ellsworth this year. She hit  .380 with 19 RBIs at AGWSR High School in Ackley last season and was named second team all-state in Class 1A. Young helped AGWSR win the 1A state title in 2015 and place third in 2013 and 2014.

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Wentzien helps KCC sink Iowa Lakes

The Kirkwood Eagles were sorely disappointed when Miles Wentzien decided to begin his college career somewhere else last year, but they were delighted to get him on the rebound.

The 6-foot-3 guard from Fort Madison has been a key ingredient for the 16th-ranked Eagles this season after transferring here from Missouri Western University.

Wentzien stuffed the stat sheet again Saturday with 24 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals as Kirkwood buried Iowa Lakes, 97-66, in an ICCAC conference game at Johnson Hall.

Wentzien leads Kirkwood in three major departments at 13.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. He's also third on the club in  assists.

"There's a lot to like," said Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen. "First of  all, he's a great kid. He's very coachable, he works extremely hard on  his game, and he's very versatile.

"He can do a lot of different things on the court. He can score, he  can rebound, he can defend and he can really pass."

Wentzien enjoyed a terrific prep career at Fort Madison, which is the school that sent Ryan Bowen to the Iowa Hawkeyes and the NBA. He averaged 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, five steals and three steals as a senior two years ago and broke the career scoring record with 1,570  points.

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No. 1 Kirkwood women now 23-0

The top-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team has reached the  midpoint of the conference race with a perfect record.

If the Eagles sweep the landscape again in the second half of the  ICCAC campaign, they'll finish the regular season at 30-0 overall and 14-0 in the conference.

Kirkwood smashed Iowa Lakes, 92-43, Saturday afternoon with another dominating performance at Johnson Hall.

Deleyah Harris led the Eagles (23-0, 7-0) with 19 points and six  rebounds. Simone Goods collected a double-double with 15 points and 11  rebounds.

Shaneequah Watkins pitched in with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Christmas Puok tallied 10 points in 10 minutes off the bench.

Kirkwood led 50-19 at halftime.

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Confident Saints knock off Prairie


It took the Xavier Saints about two months to develop a new identity  this season and get on a roll.

Now they hope it will carry them all the way to the Class 3A state  tournament again.

The resurgent Saints marched to the foul line and topped Cedar Rapids  Prairie, 60-56, in an intense Mississippi Valley Conference game at  Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

The Saints have a modest 7-9 overall record at this point in the  season, but they've won three straight games and have looked good in  back-to-back wins over Cedar Falls and Prairie.

"We weren't playing well at the start of the year. To get a couple of  wins here is great for us," said Jackson Joens, a veteran of last  year's state champions. "We're just hoping to make another run down to  Des Moines."

Xavier won the spirited game at the foul line, outscoring the visitors  22-3 at the charity stripe. The Saints shot 19 free throws in the  second half and Prairie did not shoot any, a stat that did not escape  the attention of the Hawks.

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Gerke earns 150th win for Saints

If somebody asked Josh Gerke to run through a brick wall, his only question would be "Head first or feet first?"

Xavier wrestling coach Ryan Chambers was exaggerating when he made  that comment Thursday night, but not by much.

Gerke reached a major milestone Thursday when he collected the 150th  victory of his stellar career with a pair of wins against Waterloo  East and Waterloo West in a double-dual at Ron Thillen gymnasium.

Fittingly, the 150th victory came on a pin in 87 seconds against Joventay Burris of Waterloo West at 145 pounds. It was the 98th pin of  Gerke's career, extending his own school record and giving him a shot  at reaching the century mark before the year ends.

Xavier students came prepared with signs that said "150," and there also were big yellow balloons with the numbers 1-5-0 in his honor.

"It's pretty exciting. A lot of hard work and teammates pushing me,"  said Gerke. "The coaches have spent a lot of time with me. It's a big  milestone for all of us."

Gerke got a standing ovation after his 150th verdict.

"I had a big cheering section. A lot of my friends," he said. "It was  pretty exciting to be able to get a pin like that."

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