Thursday, February 21, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Kirkwood baseball picks up pair of Metro stars

Jefferson outfielder Michael Rooney and Linn-Mar middle infielder Ben Larison have signed letters-of-intent to play baseball at Kirkwood Community College in 2012.

Rooney hit .350 with five homers and 30 RBIs for Jefferson last season as their leadoff hitter and center fielder. He's looking forward to joining the Eagles next season.

"It's really exciting," he said. "The past few years I've been wondering whether I'm good enough to play in college. It just feels good to have other people recognize you and think you're good enough to play for them."

Rooney said he also considered Wartburg and Coe.

Larison hit .383 with one homer and 31 RBIs for Linn-Mar last season as their shortstop, although he'll probably move to second base at Kirkwood.

"It just seems like Kirkwood was the best opportunity, both academically and athletically," he said. "I love baseball. It's a great opportunity."

Larison said he considered other junior colleges in Iowa and Minnesota before picking Kirkwood.



Warriors claim 48th straight district title

There were some anxious moments and furrowed brows at the Cedar Rapids Washington pool Saturday afternoon, but the boys district swim meet had a happy ending for the Warriors.

As usual.

Washington handled a stiff challenge from Iowa City High and captured its 48th straight district title, an incredible streak that began way back in 1964.

"Longer than I've been alive," noted Washington Coach Chris Cruise, who was born in 1970.

Iowa City High led Washington in the team standings, 245-233, with only three events remaining, putting the streak in jeopardy, but the Warriors finished strong.

Ian Ford, Josh Kehoe and Logan Barnes finished 1-4-6 in the 100 backstroke to put the Warriors in front by 10 points, then Nick Durin, John Kopec and Trent Greif placed 2-3-5 in the 100 breaststroke to clinch the district crown with one race remaining.

"It wasn't really until after the breaststroke that I knew we had it in the bag," said Ford.

Washington finished with 330 points, topping Iowa City High (293) by 37 markers. Linn-Mar placed third in the seven-team meet with 155 points, followed by Iowa City West (151), Kennedy (118), Jefferson (106) and Vinton-Shellsburg (59).

It came down to depth. Washington and Iowa City High both won four events, but the Warriors had a stronger overall showing.

"Top to bottom, a great team victory for us today," said Cruise. "I couldn't be prouder of our kids.


Wash swimmers qualify in all events

Washington qualified swimmers in every event for next week's state meet during Saturday's district meet, according to unofficial results released Saturday night by the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

The Warriors will be bidding for their 28th state title and their first since 2008. Washington won its 48th straight district title Saturday.

None of Washington's swimmers earned top seeds. Mo Green is seeded third in the 100 butterfly and Ian Ford third in the 100 back. The Warriors' 200 medley relay also is seeded third.

Ford is seeded fourth in the 200 individual medley, and Morgan Barnes fourth in the 200 free and 500 free.

Other qualifiers are Brian Kopec (12th in 500 free, 15th in 200 free), Josh Hughes (fifth in 500 free, 15th in 200 IM), Scott Allison (15th in 50 free, 17th in 100 free) and Nick Durin (23rd in 100 breast). The 200 free relay is seeded 14th and 400 free relay 15th.

Linn-Mar's Nathan Greve qualified in the 11th in the breaststroke and 24th in the IM. The Lions also qualified their 200 medley and 200 free relays.

Jefferson's Kristian Anderson qualified 24th in the 50 free. The J-Hawks also qualified their 400 free relay.

Kennedy did not qualify any swimmers.


Semler's 42 shoot down CPU

The top-ranked offense in the Wamac Conference, led by the league's top scorer, was too much for Center Point-Urbana to handle on Saturday at Marion.

Senior guard Kasey Semler hit a 3-pointer, a step back jumper, and converted on a fast break, all in the first 1:45 of the game, guiding Marion (11-7, 11-5 Wamac) to a 7-0 lead. The Indians led throughout in their 72-60 win over Center Point-Urbana (7-10, 7-9).

Semler had 15 points by the end of the first quarter and finished the game with 42 points, double his conference leading average.

"I was in a pretty good rhythm," Semler said. "I was looking to win the game and do whatever it took. My teammates were getting me the ball and setting some screens and I was hitting some shots tonight."

Semler did more than hit some shots however, he scored nearly every way possible from 3-pointers to drives and went 15-of-19 from the stripe.


Lions light up Little Hawks

The continuous clock couldn’t come soon enough for the Iowa City High boys Saturday night in the Linn-Mar gym.

 They couldn’t shoot worth a whoop, and the top-ranked Lions (17-0, 12-0 MVC) couldn’t miss.

 Just 24 hours after posting their first win of the season, the Little Hawks (1-16, 1-11) lost last night 70-36 in a mismatch that was decided long before the merciful final buzzer.

 The rout started in the second quarter, when Linn-Mar poured in one lay-up after another, with some jumpers thrown in, to take a 32-point halftime lead.

In the period, the Lions scored 30 points while holding City High to one tip-in basket and four free throws.

Unsung Lion power forward Ian McBrayer said it was a simple strategy.

“We just listened to Coach (Chris Robertson). He told us at the break to pick it up and play with more intensity, to lock it down. That’s what we did.”

It was way more than the Little Hawks could handle.


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