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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kennedy High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Wrong call helps Saints top Cougars

Kennedy Coach Tony Vis and Hailey Dolphin studied the replay of her  final shot against Xavier Tuesday night and came to the same forlorn  conclusion.

Dolphin's 3-pointer in the final second of the game should have  counted and forced overtime against the Saints, but there was  absolutely nothing they could do about it.

Xavier trimmed the young Cougars, 58-55, in their Mississippi Valley  Conference game at Ron Thillen Gymnasium and that's the way it will go  into the record books.

Dolphin's 3-pointer hit the rim, bounced high over the basket and came  down through the net, but the officials ruled the ball hit the strap  that's used to hoist the backboard to the ceiling when the gym is used  for other events.


Once the ball hits the strap it's a dead ball and the shot does not  count, but the replay on Kennedy's iPad clearly showed that the ball  missed the strap by a few inches.

"I just wish they would have let the kids decide it," Vis said calmly.  "I don't think the officials, on purpose, hosed anybody.

"I think they thought they saw what they saw, but obviously they  didn't. They don't have the opportunity to look at it on video like we  do.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 February 2017 06:31



Defense rules as Cougars trim Saints

For most of the game Tuesday night, it looked like the Xavier Saints  and Kennedy Cougars should have been sent back to their locker rooms  to change into knee socks, short shorts and high-top sneakers.

It looked like basketball from a long time ago, with lots of bumps and  bruises and precious few points.

"That was ugly basketball," said Xavier Coach Ryan Luehrsmann.  "Competitive basketball, but we set basketball back about 40 years  with how ugly that was."

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, and Kennedy was  perfectly happy to return to the other end of 42nd Street after  trimming the Saints, 50-47, at Xavier.

Xavier made only four baskets in the first half and trailed, 18-16, at  intermission. The Saints trailed 31-23 heading into the fourth quarter  and it was nearly time to check the record books for futility.

Fortunately, both teams clicked in the fourth period and it became fun  to watch. Incredibly, the Saints scored 24 points in the fourth  quarter alone after netting only 23 points in the first three periods  combined.

"It was a grind," agreed Kennedy Coach Jon McKowen. "Our defense kept  us in it. We're starting to defend really well.



No. 11 Xavier girls tame Kennedy

Lexi Noonan poured in 24 points Tuesday night as the 11th-ranked Xavier girls basketball team defeated Kennedy, 52-37, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at Kennedy.

Noonan made eight field goals and was a perfect 8-for-8 at the foul line as the surging Saints won their fourth straight game and raised their overall record to 6-3 heading into the holidays.

Kylie Brown pitched in 12 points for Xavier.

Xavier has defeated three Metro opponents in a row with triumphs over Linn-Mar, Jefferson and Kennedy. The Saints have held their nine  opponents to an average of just 39.8 points per game and nobody has scored more than 51 points against them all season.

Hailey Dolphin led Kennedy with 24 points, matching Noonan for game-scoring honors. The struggling Cougars lost for the fifth time in  their last six games and fell to 3-6 for the campaign.

The Saints held a slim 20-18 lead at halftime, but they outscored the Cougars 32-19 in the second half.



No. 2 Kennedy boys top Saints

Matt Berst popped in five 3-pointers and scored 17 points Tuesday night as the Kennedy Cougars downed the Xavier Saints, 62-51, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at the Kennedy gym.

The Cougars, who are ranked No. 2 in Class 4A, raised their perfect record to 4-0. The Saints, who are ranked No. 9 in Class 3A, fell to 2-4 for the campaign.

Xavier point guard Matt Mims, who sprained his ankle last Friday against Jefferson, did not play for the Saints.

Drake Brewster and Jackson Foley contributed 11 points apiece for Kennedy.

Jackson Joens paced Xavier with 13 points. Bryce Schulte pitched in with 10 points. Max Techau, who began his prep career at Kennedy, finished with eight points and nine rebounds for the Saints.



Xavier bowlers sweep Kennedy in openers

The Xavier High School bowling teams got off to a good start Tuesday by sweeping the Kennedy Cougars in the season openers at the Cedar Rapids Bowling Center.

The Xavier boys edged Kennedy by 49 pins, 2921 to 2872, and the Xavier girls won an even tighter match by just 11 pins, 2337 to 2326.

Jacob Fulton led the Xavier boys with a 445 series and a 246 game. Max Hiatt of Kennedy captured top honors with a 469 series.

Tanya Zaugg paced the Xavier girls with a 374 series and 199 game. Alyssa Wiedemeyer led Kennedy with a 314 series.


Xavier - Jacob Fulton 199+246=445, Charlie Hart 194+231=425, Dale Weaver 201+199=400, Jackson Schuster 223+167=390, Michael Buenzow 176+165=341, Calvin Ford 129+154=283.

Kennedy - Max Hiatt 234+235=469, Nathan Lindo 212+207=419, Aeron Stockwell 214+151=365, Bert Goodwin 169+189=358, Dakota Dippel 165+143=308, Dallas Dircks 142+126=268.


Saints - Tanya Zaugg 199+175=374, Cheyanne Crane 170+152=322, Ally Eipert 180+127=307, Ella Schrader 147+149=296, Abby Scott 132+143=275, Katie Langholz 137+131=268.

Cougars - Alyssa Wiedemeyer 140+174=314, Sam Eltze 171+140=311, Cate Oliphant 149+158=307, Abbie Haller 137+166=303, Tristan Robinson 136+127=263.






No. 7 KCC women raise mark to 7-0

Simone Goods scored 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds Tuesday night as the seventh-ranked Kirkwood Eagles raised their record to 7-0 with an 88-53 victory over South Australia at Johnson Hall.

Deleyah Harris and Shaneeuah Watkins scored 11 points apiece for Kirkwood.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA (53): Brett 4 5-6 15, Bryant 2 0-0 4, Rice 2 2-2 6, Thomson 1 5-6 11, Gordon 3 2-2 10, Price 0 0-0 0, Kowcun 0 0-0 0, Jones 1 1-1 3, Hunt 3 0-0 8. Totals 16 15-17 53.

KIRKWOOD (88): Harris 4 3-3 11, T.Wilson 1 3-4 5, Watkins 3 4-4 11, Goods 6 5-8 17, Usher 2 0-0 4, Puok 1 0-0 2, Hedges 0 0-0 0, Axcell 2 3-4 8, Schmidt 2 0-0 5, Ajak 3 1-2 8, Taylor 0 0-0 0, Voss 4 0-0 9, Cotton 1 0-0 2, C.Wilson 0 0-0 0, Achenbach 2 2-3 6. Totals 31 21-28 88.

Halftime - Kirkwood 56, South Australia 31. 3-point goals - South Australia 6 (Brett 2, Gordon 2, Hunt 2), Kirkwood 5 (Watkins 1, Axcell 1, Schmidt 1, Ajak 1, Voss 1).


Saints cannot serve up win against Cougars

The serve appears to be the simplest shot in volleyball, but the ball can get a little heavy and the nerves can get a little tight in a big match against a quality opponent.

That seemed to be part of the problem for the Xavier Saints Tuesday night when they lost to Kennedy, 23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-19, in a battle of Mississippi Valley Conference heavyweights at Xavier.

The Saints gave away too many points at critical parts in the match with service errors when they either hit the ball out-of-bounds or slammed the ball into the net. All the Cougars had to do was stand there and see another point posted on their side of the scoreboard.

And at the same time, the Saints had a few problems when they tried to return Kennedy's tough serves.

"I think our service pressure and our serve receive were probably not at the level it needs to be," said Xavier Coach Austin Filer. "We put a lot of emphasis into our defense, and I thought our defense was better and I thought we did a lot of nice things there.

"But the ability to serve receive is probably the highest skill and the most important skill, and we didn't do as good a job tonight as Kennedy did.

"It always kind of stinks when it's crunch time and you're scoring and all of a sudden you hit one out-of-bounds or into the net and it's tough," said Filer. "It's part of playing sports."

The Saints, who are ranked No. 4 in Class 4A, fell to 26-7 for the campaign. The Saints began the year with 18 straight wins, but they have posted a modest 8-7 record in their last 15 matches against stiff competition.



Saints swept by Kennedy juggernaut

The Xavier Saints enjoyed some good moments on Senior Night Thursday, but they were no match for the softball juggernaut that resides at the other end of 42nd Street NE in Cedar Rapids.

The third-ranked Kennedy Cougars began swinging the moment they arrived at Bob Erusha Field and never stopped until they swept the Mississippi Valley Conference twinbill, 11-3 and 18-7, with 40 hits in the doubleheader.

Kennedy raised its records to 31-3 overall and 22-2 in the conference as it battles Iowa City West for an MVC title. Xavier fell to 13-24 overall and 9-15 in the league with the season dwindling to just a few more games.

The Cougars feature lusty hitting and aggressive baserunning that puts pressure on all opponent all night. Sydney Kinney led the onslaught with seven hits in the doubleheader, including a 5-for-5 performance in the nightcap, but it was hard to find a Cougar who did not have a good night at the plate.

Tianna Drahn, Ashley Hamilton, Peyton Baskerville and Camryn Jeffords all had five hits for Kennedy, while Megan Weber and Jenna Schwartzhoff had four hits apiece. Hamilton socked a home run and drove in five runs in the nightcap and Jeffords had four RBIs in that second game.

The Saints swung the bats themselves, but not to the same degree as the Cougars. They collected 10 hits against Schwartzhoff (12-3) in the first game and they had nine hits against Ashley Winterowd (12-0) in the second contest.



Cougars sweep error-prone Saints

Jacob Henry began Wednesday's doubleheader against Xavier with a 6.46 earned run average for the Kennedy Cougars, but the senior right-hander was in top form against the Saints.

Henry spun a five-hit shutout as Kennedy blanked the Saints, 6-0, in the second game of their Mississippi Valley Conference twinbill at Ken Charipar Field.

Kennedy took the first game, 15-11, when the mistake-prone Saints committed eight errors and walked 11 batters.

The sweep left the struggling Saints at 3-19 overall and 1-15 in the conference. Kennedy raised its marks to 15-8 overall and 9-7 in the league.

Henry, a senior right-hander, struck out four batters and lowered his ERA to 4.20, knocking more than two runs off his average. He kept the ball around the plate all night and walked only two batters, both in the third inning.

Kennedy jumped to a 10-1 lead in the top of the third inning in the opener, but the Saints sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the third and scored eight runs to pull within 10-9.

The Cougars scored three times in the fifth inning for a 13-9 lead, but Xavier responded with two markers in the bottom of the fifth to pull within 13-11. Kennedy put the game away with two more runs in the seventh for the 15-11 victory in the three-hour marathon.



Prairie claims 1st Metro baseball title

When Todd Rima became the new baseball coach at Cedar Rapids Prairie last year, he gave all of his players a picture of Principal Park in Des Moines and told them to set their sights on winning a state title there.

"We asked them to hang it up in their room and make sure it was something they wanted to work towards," Rima said Wednesday night. "I think they looked at me at first like, 'Is this guy crazy?' But I think they bought in. I think they have a confidence about them now that leads to success."

That confidence was on full display Wednesday as the Hawks claimed their first Metro title in school history with a 5-0 whitewash of fifth-ranked Kennedy at the Jefferson field.

The Hawks enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2015, winning 31 games and capturing the first Mississippi Valley Conference in school annals. Now they've followed last year's success with their first trophy in the 47th Bob Vrbicek Metro tournament.

"We felt with the kids that we had and how they wanted to work and how they wanted to be successful that we could have a lot of success," said Rima. "It's all because they've bought in to playing hard. They've done a tremendous job."

Junior Darren Kilpatrick tossed a four-hit shutout in his first varsity appearance as Prairie whipped its second ranked club in three days. The Hawks trimmed No. 3 Jefferson in the opening round, clobbered Washington in the semifinals and tamed Kennedy in the championship round, allowing just two runs in three games.


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