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.
Harp, Wentzien, Meeker and King were suspended for leaving the bench and moving onto the floor during the incident, which occurred right in front of the Kirkwood bench. Henry was suspended for his direct role in the incident with Evans.
Evans also was suspended by the NJCAA, but apparently no other Ellsworth players were disciplined. The NJCAA based its ruling on reports from the referees, coaches and administrators and also by viewing a film of the game.
The film did not show if any Ellsworth players left their bench, because the camera was pointed directly at the action on the floor.
Kirkwood freshman Patrick Grabowski, who is being red-shirted this season, also was suspended by the NJCAA.
"They made a ruling and there was no appeal," Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen said Saturday.
Even with half the team missing, the Eagles found a way to win an important conference game on the road. Kaliph Fagan led Kirkwood (14-4, 2-1) with 17 points. Da'Rion King scored 12 points, Carlo Marble 10, Al'Tavius Jackson nine and Shakur Triplett seven. Da'Rion King played all 40 minutes in the game.
Of the group that played Saturday, only Triplett is a normal starter. The four baseball players joined the basketball team for practice Thursday and Friday.
The Eagles will serve the second game of their two-game suspensions when Kirkwood hosts the Grand View junior varsity Tuesday night.
Shammond Ivory scored 12 points for DMACC (12-8, 2-1).
KIRKWOOD (58): Triplett 3 1-1 7, Jackson 3 2-2 9, Fagan 3 9-9 17, Marble 2 4-6 10, D.King 6 0-1 12, Clark 1 0-0 3. Totals 18 16-19 58.
DMACC (50): Marshburn 1 0-0 2, White 4 1-4 11, Payawal 0 0-0 0, Parks 4 1-2 11, Ruff 0 0-0 0, Ivory 5 0-1 12, Lipovsky 1 0-0 3, Locke 5 0-0 11. Totals 20 2-7 50.
Halftime - Kirkwood 24, DMACC 23. 3-point goals - Kirkwood 5 (Fagan 2, Marble 2, Jackson 1, Clark 1), DMACC 8 (White 2, Parks 2, Ivory 2, Lipovsky 1, Locke 1).
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