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Thursday, February 22, 2018
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Metro Sports Report

Arrington stars for No. 14 Eagles

A new star was born for the Kirkwood Eagles Saturday afternoon at Johnson Hall.

He's 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds and his name is Kyle Arrington, a giant of a young man from Council Bluffs.

Only time will tell if Arrington was a shooting star that lasts for a moment or whether he's a bright new star for the future, but he sure  looked good Saturday.

Arrington played the best game of his young college career with 21 points, 15 rebounds, four blocked shots and four assists to spark the  14th-ranked Eagles in an 85-48 victory over Morton College.

It was a stunning performance for the freshman, who had not played more than 10 minutes in a game all season and began the day averaging a modest 3.3 points and 2.3 rebounds.

And don't let the final score fool you. Kirkwood struggled in the  first half and trailed, 28-22, at halftime before Arrington and the  Eagles took flight in the second half.

Arrington collected six points and four rebounds in the first half, good enough for Coach Bryan Petersen to put his tallest player into the starting lineup for the second half.

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No. 14 Eagles nipped by Marshalltown

At first blush, you might think that a junior college basketball team from Marshalltown would feature a bunch of players from Iowa and around the midwest.

If so, you would be wrong.

The Marshalltown Tigers feature players from Spain,Taiwan, Senegal,  Iceland, Serbia, Norway, Brazil, Sweden and Turkey. All told, 12 of their players hail from nine foreign countries. There are also six players from the United States, including two Iowans.

Their coach, Brynjar Brynharsson, is a native of Iceland who has recruiting ties all over the world.

That international crew from Marshalltown turned out to be one point better than the 14th-ranked Kirkwood Eagles Wednesday night.

Marshalltown scored the winning basket with 4.7 seconds left Wednesday as the Tigers trimmed the Eagles, 74-73, in an entertaining non-conference game at Johnson Hall.

Kirkwood had a man open in the corner for a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the ball was not handled cleanly and time expired before the Eagles could launch a shot.

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Subs help No. 14 Eagles dunk Black Hawk

The Kirkwood Eagles will need strong performances from their reserves this season if they want to seriously pursue their goals of winning conference and national titles.

They took a big step in the right direction Tuesday night.

The 14th-ranked Eagles got a big boost from their subs in a 94-69 victory over Black Hawk College at Johnson Hall.

Kirkwood's bench brigade topped their own starters in points (48-46), rebounds (24-23) and assists (11-7) and helped the Eagles take control in the second half.

The Kirkwood starters played well, and the Kirkwood reserves played even better.

"I thought they were the difference in the game," said Coach Bryan Petersen. "They gave us good energy and they were productive, and  that's what we talked about in the locker room.

"You look down the line at what they were able to do, just from  scoring the ball, rebounding and sharing the ball for us. They had a  great night. That's probably the best our bench has been all year."

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GoFundMe campaign begins for Jacobson

The GoFundMe campaign for Ben Jacobson began Tuesday with the goal of raising $10,000 to help cover his medical expenses.

Jacobson, an assistant men's basketball coach at Kirkwood Community  College, is battling Level 2 brain cancer. The tumor is inoperable due  to its location, but radiation, chemotherapy and drugs could reduce the size of the tumor over the course of time.

Jacobson, 34, was diagnosed with the brain tumor after suffering a seizure while driving home to Solon Oct. 19 and being involved in a car accident (see accompanying story).

Doctors are suggesting five weeks of radiation and a year of chemo. Treatments are scheduled to begin next week.

(CLICK HERE FOR GOFUNDME LINK)

Jacobson returned to work with the Kirkwood basketball team on Monday and was back on the bench Tuesday night when the Eagles defeated Black Hawk College at Johnson Hall.

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KCC coach Jacobson fighting brain cancer

Ben Jacobson wants to enjoy the normal pleasures in life, like seeing  his young children graduate from school and start families of their own some day. Grandchildren would be wonderful.

His professional dream is to become the head coach of an NCAA Division I men's basketball team, running his own shop after helping Kirkwood continue its winning ways as an assistant coach.

But Jacobson, 34, is facing the biggest battle of his life after being diagnosed with Level 2 brain cancer last month following a frightening car accident that could have ended his life right then.

Jacobson is determined to win this fight against a dreadful disease and the inoperable 2 1/2-inch tumor that's lodged in the frontal lobe of his brain. Doctors cannot remove the tumor because of its delicate location without serious risk of leaving him handicapped, but radiation, chemotherapy and special drugs could help reduce the tumor.

A delicate operation could leave him blind or deaf. "So that's kind of out of the question," he said.

The battle has just begun, however.

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