Thursday, March 23, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Kirkwood wins without 5 suspended players

BOONE - The Kirkwood men's basketball team collected one of the most  unusual victories in school history Saturday.

The Eagles defeated DMACC, 58-50, in a conference game in Boone despite playing the game without five suspended players.

Kirkwood has only 10 players on its active roster, so the Eagles were missing half the team.

The five players were suspended by the National Junior College  Athletic Association for two games for their role in an incident that happened during the final minute of Wednesday's home game against  Ellsworth.

Kirkwood assistant coaches Ben Jacobson and Taylor Blum also were  suspended by the NJCAA and did not make the trip to DMACC.

Cal Clark, a member of the Kirkwood baseball team and a former basketball player at Cedar Rapids Prairie, joined the basketball team and was used as their sixth man against DMACC. He made a 3-point  basket and scored three points.

Three other Kirkwood baseball players joined the team and were in  uniform, but they did not play against DMACC. Todd Rima, the Kirkwood  baseball coach, helped Petersen coach the team.

Byron Harp, Miles Wentzien, Ethan Meeker, Chris King and Elijah Henry  were suspended by the NJCAA. Harp, Wentzien, Meeker and King are  starters and were on the bench in the final minute against Ellsworth  when Henry and Mike Evans of Ellsworth got into a shoving incident  and Henry was assessed a technical foul.


Saints bumped off by Hempstead

It was easy to look at the Xavier Saints this year and think they had  a good chance to win another Class 3A state title with lots of talent back from last season.

They still might get back to Des Moines and take a crack at a state  crown, but so far it's been a struggle.

The Saints fell apart in the third quarter Friday night and lost to  Dubuque Hempstead, 63-44, in a Mississippi Valley Conference boys basketball game at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

The loss left Xavier with a 4-7 record heading into a special  event Saturday in Omaha against Papillion-LaVista.

Matt Mims, Max Techau and Jackson Joens returned to the starting  linuep this season after helping the Saints win the 2016 state title. Nolan Butkowski, a part-time starter, and Bryce Schulte, a key  reserve, also returned this year.

"There was every reason to be optimistic when you return those guys,"  Coach Ryan Luehrsmann said Friday.

Luehrsmann is still optimistic, but the season is half-over and the  Saints have yet to hit their stride.


Goods finds right fit with No. 1 Eagles

When Simone Goods decided to leave Western Kentucky last season after  one year with the Hilltoppers, she reached out to a former high school teammate from Omaha to talk about life and basketball.

That former high school teammate was her "best friend," Deleyah  Harris, who spent last season playing for the Kirkwood Eagles.

During their conversations, they talked about the possibility of Goods  joining Harris in Cedar Rapids.

"We just talked about it and said, 'What if?," Goods related Wednesday  night. "It kind of just happened."

"What if?" has turned into "Wow!" for Goods and Harris as two of the  stars for the top-ranked junior college basketball team in the country.

Goods scored 19 points Wednesday and Harris collected a double-double  with 11 points, 11 rebounds and six steals as the Eagles topped  Ellsworth, 68-44, for their 18th straight victory.

Goods is a powerful 6-foot-2 center who also has good skills on the  perimeter. Harris is a 5-foot-9 guard who can do just about anything  on the floor.

They starred at Omaha Benson High School, where they went 26-1 as  seniors in 2015, and now they are 18-0 as teammates again at Kirkwood.  They also played together on the AAU circuit in high school.


Meeker helps No. 14 Eagles rip Ellsworth

It's rare to see a college basketball team with four point guards in  the starting lineup, but the Kirkwood Eagles come as close as you're  going to get these days.

They've got Chris King, the primary point guard. They've got Byron  Harp, who sparked the Eagles to the national title last year. They've  got Miles Wentzien, a versatile guy from Fort Madison.

And they've also got Ethan Meeker, a slick freshman who put on a show  Wednesday night.

Meeker collected 15 points and five assists as the 14th-ranked Eagles  whipped Ellsworth, 89-53, in an ICCAC conference game at Johnson Hall.

"He played great," said Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen. "He's really  come along.

"He works hard every day, so it's great to see him have success in  games. He did a great job of getting in the paint and finding  shooters. And obviously he's a good shooter himself."

The game was tied early, 18-18, but then Meeker and the Eagles went to  work with a 14-0 run to grab command at 32-18. They never looked back from there and won easily by 36.


UNI's Roby, Craig join softball league

The new Iowa Women's Softball League received a nice boost Monday when Brittney Roby and Brooke Craig from the successful University of Northern Iowa softball team joined the program.

A total of 31 college softball players have now joined the league, including eight players from NCAA Division I schools.

Roby has been an outstanding hitter at every rung of her softball  career. She began her prep career by batting .642 as an eighth grader  at Twin Cedars High School in Bussey and then hit .568, .655, .634 and .651 during the next four seasons.

Roby, an outfielder, collected 12 homers and 133 RBIs in high school and was named first team all-state for five straight years from 2010 through 2014.


Roby continued her lusty hitting in college at DMACC, where she hit .582 with 15 homers and 85 RBIs as a freshman in 2015 and followed by hitting .551 with 10 homers and 68 RBIs last season as a sophomore.

Roby was named a first team NJCAA All-American during both of her  campaigns at DMACC. Remarkably, she struck out only one time in 2016 and struck out only two times in 2015.

Roby is currently a junior at UNI with two more years of eligibility.


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