Saturday, April 29, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

King me! Kirkwood escapes NIACC

The defending national champions were in trouble Tuesday night in the  opening round of the regional tournament when Da'Rion King came came  to the rescue for the Kirkwood Eagles.

King muscled in 12 points during a key six-minute stretch late in the  game to help the 15th-ranked Eagles escape NIACC, 78-71, in a tense  ballgame at Johnson Hall.

Kirkwood (24-6) will host 19th-ranked Iowa Lakes (22-8) in the NJCAA  Division II regional semifinals Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

King, a 6-foot-6 sophomore from Racine, Wis., finished with 23 points  and 11 rebounds for the Eagles, doubling his season-long averages of  11.1 points and 5.6 boards.


No. 1 Kirkwood women roll in regional

Deleyah Harris scored 20 points Tuesday night as the top-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team defeated Ellsworth, 72-48, in the  quarterfinals of the regional tournament at Johnson Hall.

Kirkwood (31-0) will host Southwestern (17-14) in the regional semifinals Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Simone Goods collected 16 points and eight rebounds for the Eagles. Olivia Usher finished with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.  Rylee Voss provided eight points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Antoinette Williams scored 13 points for Ellsworth.


No. 1 Eagles roll into tourney at 30-0

ESTHERVILLE - Simone Goods scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds Saturday as the top-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team rolled by Iowa Lakes, 98-59, in the final game of the regular season.

The Eagles raised their records to 30-0 overall and 12-0 in the ICCAC conference.

Coach Kim Muhl has won six national titles at Kirkwood, but this is  the first time the Eagles have ever finished the regular season with an undefeated record.

Kirkwood will host Ellsworth in the quarterfinals of the regional  tournament Tuesday at 5:30. The Kirkwood men will face NIACC in the second game Tuesday at 7:30 in their regional tournament.

Megan Axcell scored 15 points Saturday and Olivia Usher had 14.  Deleyah Harris provided 11 points and seven rebounds. TiRayah Cotton scored 10 points.


Sad day for Saints at state tourney

DES MOINES - There were 42 seconds left in Xavier's loss to North  Scott in the Class 4A state basketball tournament Friday morning when  Coach Tom Lilly sent seldom-used senior Lauren Cooling into the game.

The Saints trailed by only seven points at the time and Lilly could  have kept his starters on the floor and prayed for a miracle, but he  wanted to make sure Cooling got into the game for a taste of the state  meet.

Lauren Cooling's mother, Sue, died Wednesday from cancer. She was only  54 years old.

Two days later, Lauren took the floor for the semifinals of the state  tournament at Wells Fargo Arena and there wasn't a dry eye among the  Xavier players, coaches and fans.

"At some point in time you recognize the situation and that basketball  is not the most important thing at that moment in time," said Lilly,  who has won 523 games and four state titles in his career.

"Nobody on our team would have argued with the fact that she needed to  see the court at some point in time."

The sixth-ranked Saints fell to eighth-ranked North Scott, 58-49,  mostly because they committed too many turnovers, committed too many  fouls and could not keep the Lancers off the offensive backboard.


Harris helps No. 1 Eagles clinch title

Except for her bout with bronchitis, Kirkwood sophomore Deleyah Harris had a pretty good day Wednesday.

Harris nearly recorded a triple-double as the top-ranked Eagles held off NIACC, 93-81, to clinch the outright conference title and run  their perfect record to 29-0.

On top of that, the 5-foot-9 guard picked up a Division I college scholarship offer after the game from Missouri-Kansas City head coach Marsha Freese, a Cedar Rapids native who was at Johnson Hall.

Harris was happy to receive her first offer from a D-I school, especially one that's close to her home in Omaha, but she was not  ready to commit on the spot.

Her commitment right now is to getting healthy and trying to help Kirkwood win the NJCAA Division II national title.

Harris finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven steals in 32 minutes of action. She used an inhaler several times to help her breathing while battling bronchitis, but managed to keep going.

"My adrenaline was running," she said. "I was tired, but I had to keep going."


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