Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Aikey, Robertson returning to IWSL for 2018

Kelsey Aikey and Sydney Robertson enjoyed playing in the new Iowa Women's Softball League last summer.

Now they are returning for Year 2.

Aikey and Robertson have boosted the enrollment for the 2018 campaign to 27 players, with 18 registered for the Eastern Division in Cedar Rapids and nine for the Central Division in Ames and Indianola.

Aikey, a strong pitcher, compiled a 7-4 record and 2.92 ERA as a freshman at Western Kentucky last season. She starred in the Conference USA tournament when she tossed 11 2/3 innings and did not allow a single run.


Aikey was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team and also was selected to the C-USA honor roll for her work in the classroom. Aikey began her high school career at Cedar Falls and spent one year at Waverly-Shell Rock as a senior.


Balanced No. 8 KCC women dump Loras JV

Kim Muhl has another strong basketball team at Kirkwood Community College this season.

The Lady Eagles are ranked eighth in the nation, boast a 14-3 record and are averaging 73.4 points per game, but there's something a little odd about this year's club.

Tay Wilson is the only player on the team who has a scoring average in double figures, and she was averaging 9.94 points before raising it to exactly 10.0 Thursday night in an 89-63 victory over the Loras junior varsity at Johnson Hall.

Awal Ajak is averaging 9.6 points, Leah Robinson 8.7, Megan Axcell 8.2, Olivia Usher 7.5 and Arika Wooldridge 6.5. All of them are capable of scoring a lot more on any given night - and most of them have - but Muhl likes to rotate a dozen players and share the wealth.

That was the story again Wednesday.

All 14 Eagles got into the game and 12 of them saw at least 10 minutes of court time. Twelve players got into the scoring column, but nobody had a monster game.

Axcell led the way with 13 points. Wilson and Ajak netted 11 apiece, but nobody else reached double figures.


Kirkwood men hold off Dubuque JV

The search continues for the Kirkwood men's basketball team.

The search for a productive starting lineup. The search for an effective rotation. The search for success.

The Eagles held off the University of Dubuque junior varsity, 71-63, Thursday night at Johnson Hall, but Coach Bryan Petersen is still searching for the right answers with the conference race on the horizon.

"Obviously this wasn't a great overall effort from our group," said Petersen. "We won, but it's on me. We just didn't have the group ready to go tonight. Not a great effort."

Kirkwood has pounded a lot of JV teams over the years, but this was a competitive game from start to finish. The Eagles led by only one point at halftime, 34-33, and were never able to put the Spartans away despite opening a 13-point lead.

Just when it looked like the game was in the bag at 67-54, Dubuque scored nine straight points to make it 67-63.


Eagles slay No.5 Illinois Central for title

PEORIA, Ill. - The Kirkwood Eagles got their revenge against Illinois  Central in the championship game of the Illinois Central holiday  tournament on Saturday.

The eighth-ranked Eagles rallied to defeat the fifth-ranked Cougars,  52-44, with a strong performance in the fourth quarter. Kirkwood  trailed 37-33 entering the final stanza, but the visitors outscored  the home team 19-7 in the last 10 minutes for the victory.

Illinois Central trimmed Kirkwood, 59-58, in the final round of the  Kirkwood tournament on Nov. 11, so the two premier junior college  basketball teams are knotted at 1-1 for the season.

Kirkwood finished with a perfect 37-0 record last season when Coach  Kim Muhl's club won the national championship. The Eagles are now 13-3  this year, making them 50-3 the last two years.

Tay Wilson led Kirkwood Saturday with 14 points, seven rebounds, three  assists and two steals. Awal Ajak scored 13 points and Arika  Wooldridge contributed 11 points off the bench.


No. 8 KCC women top No. 10 Owens

PEORIA, Ill. - Tay Wilson popped in 20 points Friday afternoon to help  the eighth-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team defeat 10th-ranked  Owens, 77-63, in the semifinals of the Illinois Central holiday  tournament.

Kirkwood (12-3) plays for the championship Saturday.

Olivia Usher scored 17 points and collected seven assists against  Owens. Megan Axcell contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds for a  double-double. Awal Ajak added 13 points.

Kirkwood made twelve 3-pointers in the ballgame. Axcell hit four  triples, while Wilson and Ajak had three apiece.


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