Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Tull paces No. 13 KCC women

FORT DODGE - The 13th-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team began the ICCAC conference race Wednesday night with a 64-46 victory over Iowa Central in Fort Dodge.

Ashley Tull paced the Eagles (6-4, 1-0) with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Johanna Myers hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points. Ju Gaston contributed 10 points.

Brittany West scored 15 points for Iowa Central (7-3, 0-1).


Basala's clutch '3' lifts Mustangs

Mount Mercy Coach Aaron Jennings likes his team's chances when they need a clutch 3-pointer to win a ballgame in the final second.

It's called confidence.

Bailey Basala drilled a 3-pointer with 5-tenths of a second remaining Monday night to snap a 90-90 tie and give the Mustangs a dramatic 93-90 victory over St. Ambrose in a non-conference game at the Hennessey Recreation Center.

Antwain Strong found Basala with a perfect pass with a few seconds left and the 6-foot-5 sophomore from Moline, Ill., let it fly with perfect rhythm and touch.

"Antwain was driving to the hoop. I knew he was going to find me," said Basala. "He always does. Always."

Mount Mercy, which leads the NAIA in 3-point shooting, made 18 against St. Ambrose, matching the second-most in school history. The Mustangs broke the school record when they made 22 against Viterbo in the season opener this year.

Jennings uses a version of the "Princeton Offense" that he learned while playing for Bill Carmody at Northwestern. It stresses ball movement, back-door cuts and open shots on the perimeter.

College basketball is faster now and more wide-open than when Jennings played at Northwestern, and he's tweaked the "Princeton Offense" so his players can let it rip.


Hoover grads click for Kirkwood

The boys basketball program at Des Moines Hoover has been a crucial pipeline for the Kirkwood Eagles in recent years.

First there was Chris King, an all-conference guard who graduated from Kirkwood last year. There's Doug Wilson, an All-American center for the Eagles last season and the top player this year.  And now there's Devonte Thedford, a promising freshman guard.

Thedford made his first start for Kirkwood Saturday and helped the Eagles come zooming out of the gates in an impressive 110-45 victory over Black Hawk College at Johnson Hall.

Thedford scored 10 quick points as the Eagles raced to a 25-6 lead with strong moves to the basket to help set the tone for the 65-point blowout.

King, Wilson and Thedford were teammates at Des Moines Hoover when Thedford was a freshman. They reached the semifinals of the Class 4A state tournament that year and they all ultimately signed with Kirkwood.

"Yeah, those were my guys," said Thedford, a 6-foot-2 combo guard who loves to attack the basket.


Reivers top KCC women in OT

COUNCIL BLUFFS - The Kirkwood women's basketball team lost to Iowa Western, 64-62, in overtime Saturday afternoon in a non-conference game in Council Bluffs.

Anasha Hurst of Kirkwood hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime, but Iowa Western outscored the Eagles 13-11 in the extra session for the tight victory.

Kirkwood scored only 25 points in the first three quarters and trailed by 11 markers, but the Eagles netted 26 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Hurst led Kirkwood (5-4) with 26 points and hit four 3-pointers. She also had eight rebounds. Ju Gaston and Ashley Tull scored 10 points apiece. Mackenzie Jenkins contributed nine points and nine rebounds.


Mustang men trimmed by Baker

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. - The Mount Mercy men's basketball team staged a big rally Saturday afternoon, but the final five seconds slipped away in an 83-81 loss to Baker University.

The Mustangs trailed by 14 points, 58-44, with 14:26 left, but they stormed all the way back and took an 81-80 lead on a 3-pointer by Dennis McKinney with 31 seconds remaining.

Brandon Clifford scored for Baker with five seconds left to give the hosts an 82-81 advantage. Mount Mercy committed a turnover with four seconds left and fouled Baker with three seconds to go.

Baker made the first free throw for an 83-81 edge. Baker missed the second foul shot, but Mount Mercy knocked the rebound out of bounds and missed its final opportunity.

It was the second tough loss this season for the Mustangs, who fell 75-74 at St. Ambrose earlier this year.

Bailey Basala led Mount Mercy with 18 points. McKinney finished with 15 points. Emilio Villagrana scored 12 points and Mychael Brawner-Henley had 11 points. Mohammed Albagami contributed nine points and eight rebounds.


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