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Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

No. 4 Eagles cruise in regional

The Kirkwood women's basketball team plans to spend the weekend in Mason City, but the Eagles are not going there for the fine cuisine or weather.

The fourth-ranked Eagles are headed to Mason City for the final two rounds of the NJCAA Division II regional tournament, with a trip to the national tournament the ultimate prize.

Kirkwood reached the semifinals of the regional Wednesday night by pounding Southwestern, 87-49, in the opening round at Johnson Hall.

The Eagles led, 47-11, at halftime and put the game on cruise control in the second half.

Kirkwood (26-6) will face DMACC (16-14) in the semifinals Saturday at 3 p.m. in Mason City. NIACC (25-5) will meet Iowa Central (18-12) in the other semifinal, with the winners colliding Sunday for the regional title.

NIACC, which is located in Mason City, is hosting the semifinals and finals as the No. 1 seed in the regional. NIACC and Kirkwood tied for the conference title and swapped six-point victories during the regular season, but NIACC got the No. 1 seed based on point differential against all the other teams in the ICCAC conference.

Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl does not like the way "point differential" was employed to break the tie, thinking it can lead to unsportsmanlike conduct by teams that might be inclined to run up the score against a hapless opponent. It did not escape Muhl's attention that NIACC scored 131 points against winless Ellsworth when NIACC and Kirkwood were battling for the No. 1 seed.

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No. 2 Eagles roll in regional opener

The ultimate goal for the Kirkwood men's basketball team is to win seven straight playoff games this month and claim their second national title in seven years.

It's serious business, but it helps to laugh along the way.

The second-ranked Eagles had a chance to relax and enjoy themselves in the regional opener Wednesday night with an easy 106-52 victory over Southwestern at Johnson Hall.

Kirkwood (25-4) will host DMACC (22-9) in the regional semifinals Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Eagles had a lot of fun in the final minutes Wednesday night, especially when Griffen Clark hit a 3-pointer to put them over the century mark and then when he intentionally passed the ball off the backboard to Niko Gosnell for a dunk that brought everyone to their feet.

"There's no question it helps to have a game like that and everybody gets to contribute and everybody gets to share some fun on the court," said Coach Bryan Petersen. "I think it goes a long way with team chemistry and team morale."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2019 22:53

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KCC men earn No. 1 seed for regional

IOWA FALLS - The Kirkwood men's basketball team picked up two nice prizes in Iowa Falls Saturday afternoon.

The fifth-ranked Eagles crushed Ellsworth, 89-59, in the final game of the regular season to grab a share of the ICCAC conference title and earn the No. 1 seed for the regional tournament.

Kirkwood began the week in second place in the league standings behind NIACC, but NIACC lost to DMACC in its final game of the season to give the Eagles a chance to tie for the title.

Kirkwood and NIACC tied for the championship with 12-2 league records, but the Eagles won the tiebreaker based on power ratings.

Bryan Petersen collected his 150th victory as the head coach at Kirkwood on Saturday. He has a 150-38 record at his alma mater.

The Eagles (24-4) will host No. 8 seed Southwestern (3-26) in the quarterfinals of the regional tournament Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Johnson Hall. If Kirkwood keeps winning, it will host the semifinals on Thursday and the regional championship game on Saturday.

Kirkwood was the No. 1 seed for the regional tournament last year, but fell short and failed to reach the national tournament. "Hopefully we can take advantage of that this year," said Petersen. "Last year we didn't."

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KCC women share conference title

IOWA FALLS - The Kirkwood women's basketball team finished in a tie for the ICCAC conference title on Saturday, but the Eagles had to settle for the No. 2 seed in the regional tournament next week.

The fourth-ranked Eagles topped Ellsworth, 87-61, in the final game of the regular season.

Kirkwood and NIACC finished with identical 15-1 records in the conference and traded six-point wins, but NIACC won the tiebreaker on its overall point differential against the other teams in the league.

NIACC outscored conference opponents by 458 points and Kirkwood outscored them by 397, giving NIACC the tiebreaker by 61 points.

Kirkwood (25-6) will host No. 7 seed Southwestern (11-17) in the opening round of the regional tournament Wednesday night. The Eagles whipped Southwestern by 43 and 48 points in their two meetings.

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Muhl, Eagles do the right thing

When it comes to picking between good sportsmanship or embarrassing a weaker opponent, Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl will do the right thing every time.

It happened again Wednesday night.

The Kirkwood women's basketball team is locked in a fierce battle with NIACC for the No. 1 seed in the regional tournament that begins next week and the tiebreaker could be each team's point differential against all the other teams in the league.

Every point could matter, but Muhl will not deliberately run up the score when a game is completely out of hand.

The Eagles were sitting on a 91-43 lead and had the ball with 20 seconds left Wednesday against Southwestern, but Muhl told his team to hold the ball and let time expire.

The difference between a 48-point victory or a 50-point victory does not sound like much, but it might be important when the final calculations are made Saturday once the regular season is over.

Meanwhile, NIACC rolled up a 131-56 victory over Ellsworth Wednesday night for a 75-point margin against an opponent that has not won a ballgame all season.

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No. 5 KCC men roll by Southwestern

The Kirkwood Eagles played terrific basketball for 12 minutes Wednesday night and so-so hoops for 28 minutes.

It was plenty good enough.

The fifth-ranked Eagles spanked Southwestern, 77-55, in an ICCAC men's basketball game at Johnson Hall.

Kirkwood finished the last eight minutes of the first half with a resounding 21-2 surge, then outscored the visitors 10-0 during the first four minutes of the second half.

That 31-2 blitz gave the Eagles total control of the ballgame, raising the score to 53-23.

"We got consecutive stops," said Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen. "That's something we always preach. Try to get two or three stops in a row, because that usually allows you to go on a run.

"I think it started with our defense and we were able to get out in transition for some easier looks."

Devonte Thedford, who joined the starting lineup several weeks ago, fueled the 21-2 run at the end of the first half with 10 points on strong drives to the basket.

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No. 7 Eagles cruise to 8-0 record

AUSTIN, Minn. - The Kirkwood softball team won a pair of lopsided  games at the Packer Dome on Sunday.

The seventh-ranked Eagles smacked Ellsworth, 20-3, and knocked off  Bryant & Stratton, 12-3, in a pair of five-inning contests.

Kirkwood has gotten off to a perfect 8-0 start this season under new  coach Eric Frese.

Lauren Klaahsen went 4-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs in the game  against Ellsworth. Jayme Finn was 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Taleah  Smith, London Jackson, Lauren Kuch, Sydney Albaugh, Jessi Butler and  Courtney Harris all had two base hits.

Jackson and Kuch belted home runs. Butler scored four times and Kuch  scored three runs. Jackson and Randyn Carter drove in two runs.

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Smith sparks No. 7 KCC softball

AUSTIN, Minn. - Taleah Smith enjoyed a big day in the leadoff spot for  the Kirkwood softball team Saturday.

Smith went 7-for-8 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs as the  seventh-ranked Eagles won two games at the Packer Dome.

Kirkwood scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to snap a  4-4 tie and defeat Rock Valley College, 9-4, in the first game.

The Eagles jumped off to a 5-0 lead in the first inning of their second game and posted a 9-6 victory over NIACC, running their record  for the young 2019 season to 6-0.

Smith, Skylar Ryan and Autum Barthelman had two hits in the 9-4  victory over Rock Valley. Smith, Rachel Stewart and Randyn Carter  drove in two runs. Ryan and Barthelman scored twice.

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Cowan shines as Eagles top Cuyahoga

DEFIANCE, Ohio - Cam Cowan pitched five strong innings Saturday as the  ninth-ranked Kirkwood baseball team defeated Cuyahoga Community College, 16-9, in Ohio.

The Eagles compiled a 2-1 record in the three-game series.

Cowan allowed only one hit in five shutout innings, with five strikeouts and two walks.

Kirkwood scored eight runs in the second inning and owned a 16-3 lead after seven frames. Cuyahoga tallied six times in the eighth inning to make the score more respectable.

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No. 9 Kirkwood baseball splits openers

AVON, Ohio - The ninth-ranked Kirkwood baseball team began the 2019  season by splitting a doubleheader against Cuyahoga Community College  in Ohio Friday afternoon.

The Eagles won the first game, 7-5, in nine innings. Cuyahoga took the  nightcap, 3-1, in a game shortened to six innings due to darkness.

The temperature at game-time Friday for the opener was 33 degrees.

Jackson Bennett was the winning pitcher and collected the game-winning  RBI for Kirkwood in Game 1. Bennett pitched three strong innings in  relief and gave the Eagles a 6-5 lead in the top of the ninth when he  hit for himself.

Bennett did not allow any hits or runs in the last three innings, with  four strikeouts and one walk. Carter Lawler also pitched three  scoreless innings in relief in Game 1.

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