Wednesday, February 22, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Western Dubuque joins MVC in tight vote

The Western Dubuque Bobcats will become the 16th member of the Mississippi Valley Conference in the 2018-19 school year.

The Western Dubuque school board approved the switch from the Wamac  Conference to the Mississippi Valley Conference by the slimmest of votes, 3-2, at their meeting Monday night.

The new Liberty High School in North Liberty also will be joining the  MVC for the 2018-19 school year as the conference grows from 14 schools to 16.

This will be the first major change in the Mississippi Valley  Conference since 1992, when Regis, Cedar Falls, Waterloo West and Waterloo East joined the league. Xavier joined the MVC in 1998 when  Regis and LaSalle merged to form one high school.

There was considerable debate at the Western Dubuque school board  meeting before a roll-call vote was taken. The first school board  member voted against the move, but the next three members voting in favor to approve the measure, ending the suspense. The fifth and final  member voted no, but did not affect the outcome.

"It was a 3-to-2 vote, so a little bit close, but still a majority  said yes, so we're on our way to the MVC to be up and running by  2018-19," Western Dubuque athletic director John Hlubek said in a telephone interview shortly after the meeting.

"It was the last item on our school board agenda and the room was  packed," he said. "It was what everybody was waiting to see. There  were a few people that think it's not the right move and there were a lot of people who thought it was the right move.


Schmitt leads Prairie by Saints

The Cedar Rapids Prairie girls basketball team began its warmups for  Friday night's game at Xavier with only eight players on the floor and  with a 2-8 record.

At the other end of the floor, the Saints had a full complement of  players with a flashy No. 7 ranking in the Class 4A poll and an  impressive five-game winning streak.

Advantage Saints, right?

Not this time.

Sarah Schmitt was hot from the foul line and pumped in 22 points as  the young Prairie Hawks upended the Saints, 52-45, in a Mississippi  Valley Conference game at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

Prairie had two freshmen and two sophomores in the starting lineup,  but the Hawks withstood a Xavier rally in the second half and were the  more composed team at the end.

"Our kids played above what their grades may show," said Prairie Coach Josh Bentley. "They stayed together. And they executed and stayed  disciplined."

Schmitt, a 5-foot-7 sophomore, swished 10 of 11 free throws for the  Hawks, including six straight in the final 56 seconds to help Prairie  notch the victory.


No. 1 Eagles raise mark to 16-0

The Kirkwood Eagles turned Sweet 16 Thursday night.

Simone Goods scored 15 points and snared nine rebounds as the top-ranked Eagles rolled to their 16th straight victory with a 78-53 verdict over the Loras College junior varsity at Johnson Hall.

Shaneequah Watkins collected 12 points, Awal Ajak netted 11 and Deleyah Harris contributed 10 in a typically balanced attack. Harris also had eight rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Goods, a 6-foot-2 sophomore from Omaha, scored 11 of her points in the third quarter when Kirkwood outscored the visitors from Dubuque, 24-11, in the 10-minute session.

The Eagles won another game by a wide margin, but they committed 20 turnovers with some sloppy passes and Coach Kim Muhl was visibly unhappy at times on the bench.


Gabi Carter joins MSR softball league

Gabi Carter will return home to Swisher this May after playing  softball at Indiana State University, but the Cedar Rapids Prairie grad would like to keep playing in a competitive league this summer.

That's why she has joined the new Iowa Women's Softball League that is being organized by the Metro Sports Report.

Carter is the sixth NCAA Division I player to join the league and the 28th player overall.

Carter, an infielder, graduated from Prairie in 2015 and had a sensational year as a freshman at Kirkwood last season. She hit .442  with 21 home runs and 84 RBIs, helping the Eagles compile a 58-6  record and place fifth at the national tournament.


Carter was named a junior college All-American at Kirkwood and accepted a scholarship to join Indiana State this year as a sophomore.

The Iowa Women's Softball League has been created by the Metro Sports Report to give college players an opportunity to play in a competitive summer league. It's the only program of its kind in Iowa and is gaining enrollment on a daily basis.


Leaner Eagles sail by Clarke JV

The Kirkwood men's basketball team will be a much leaner group for the rest of the season with the loss of five reserves during the holiday  break.

The Eagles could be a much meaner group as well, in terms of making a run for a second straight national title.

The 16th-ranked Eagles sailed by the Clarke junior varsity, 129-52, in a tuneup at Johnson Hall Tuesday night in their first game with a trimmer roster.

Coach Bryan Petersen had only 10 players in uniform Tuesday and seven  of them scored in double figures. Chris King led the way with 23 points with five 3-pointers.

Derrick Howard, Darius Rice, Darias Oliver, Kameron Moore and Shawn Foxbrennen have left the club since the end of the first semester. Most of them were fairly deep reserves, and the 10 guys who are left  are the 10 who will decide Kirkwood's fate this year.

Petersen thinks a leaner roster could be good for the club after trying to hammer a 15-man team into a cohesive unit.

"That was something we were really struggling with the first semester," he said. "We didn't have a lot of defined roles, and now  we've got that with our numbers going down a little bit.


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