Thursday, February 27, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

No. 1 Eagles cruise by Mineral Area College

COUNCIL BLUFFS - The top-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team  bolted to an 18-4 lead in the first quarter Friday afternoon and  cruised to a 74-46 victory over Mineral Area College in the opening  round of the Iowa Western Classic in Council Bluffs.

The Eagles (8-0) will face Jefferson College in the second round  Saturday at 5 p.m.

Tatiana Hodges-Johnson led Kirkwood with 13 points. Delani Harris  netted 11 points and five rebounds. Paige Bradford finished with 10  points and eight rebounds. Natalie Tomaszewski also grabbed eight  rebounds for the Eagles. Jheda Kennedy had four assists.

Jada Manase scored 12 points for Mineral Area College (6-2).



No. 14 Eagles sink Lake County

The 14th-ranked Kirkwood Eagles used a balanced attack Tuesday night to smother the College of Lake County, 98-64, in a men's basketball game at Johnson Hall.

DJ Purnell led the Eagles (6-3) with 19 points and seven rebounds. Gacoby Jones and Chris Burnell scored 14 points for Kirkwood. Devonte Thedford had 11 points and Niko Gosnell added 10 points.

Seybian Sims and Griffen Clark contributed nine points apiece and Jalen Taylor had eight markers.

Kirkwood shot 54.5 percent from the floor, with Purnell going 6-for-7. Jones grabbed eight rebounds. Thedford had five assists. Gosnell blocked four shots.



KCC volleyball claims 9th at nationals

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Kirkwood Eagles got off to a slow start at the national volleyball tournament in West Virginia this past week, but there was no stopping them once they got rolling.

The Eagles claimed a 3-2 victory over Gulf Coast State Saturday morning to finish ninth in the NJCAA Division II tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.

Kirkwood won 20-25, 25-18, 25-22, 20-25, 15-13. The Eagles were seeded No. 9 in the tournament and Gulf Coast State was seeded No. 6, so it was a mild upset.

Kirkwood lost to top-ranked Parkland in the opening round, but the Eagles bounced back with three straight victories in the consolation bracket to finish with a 3-1 record with triumphs over two higher-seeded clubs.



Short-handed Eagles fall short

EAST PEORIA, Ill. - The ninth-ranked Kirkwood men's basketball team lost to Illinois Central, 72-66, in a non-conference game Saturday in Illinois.

Devonte Thedford and Seybian Sims, two normal starters for the Eagles, did not play in Saturday's game for unspecified reasons. Luke Appel and Connor Kasperbauer, who helped Kirkwood win the national title last season, did not play due to injuries.

Kirkwood defeated Illinois Central, 87-68, in the season opener Nov. 1 at the SCC tournament in West Burlington.

Jamal Stephenson and DJ Purnell led Kirkwood (5-3) with 16 points. Purnell grabbed 13 rebounds. Niko Gosnell blocked four shots.



KCC volleyball aiming for 9th at nationals

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Kirkwood women's volleyball team won both of its matches in the consolation bracket of the NJCAA Division II national tournament Friday and will play for ninth place Saturday.

The Eagles (28-15) will face Gulf Coast State (23-7) at 8 a.m. in the final match of the consolation round.

Kirkwood began the tournament Thursday with a 3-0 loss to Illinois Central, but the Eagles bounced back with a 3-0 conquest of Mercyhurst North East and a 3-1 victory over Catawba Valley Friday.

Kirkwood, the No. 9 seed, swept Mercyhurst, 25-11, 25-12, 25-20. Anna Gorsich had 12 kills and Aubrin Dittmer had 10. Madi Wagaman collected 19 assists and Rachael Nelson had 17. Maranda Wheelock made 21 digs.



KCC volleyball swept at national meet

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Kirkwood women's volleyball team was swept by Illinois Central, 3-0, in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II national tournament Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center.

Kirkwood (26-15) will face Mercyhurst North East (19-8) in a consolation match Friday at 11 a.m. as it tries to battle back for ninth place in the 16-team tournament.

Kirkwood is seeded No. 9 for the national tournament and Illinois Central is No. 8, but the Eagles were swept 25-15, 25-21, 25-20.

Anna Gorsich had 12 kills for Kirkwood. Madi Wagaman and Rachael Nelson had 13 assists. Olivia Richards made 16 digs and Maranda Wheelock had 14. Maggie Peters blocked five shots.



Clark sparks No. 9 Eagles by John Wood

Griffen Clark learned what it takes to win a national championship  last season as a freshmen when the Kirkwood Eagles captured the NJCAA  Division II national crown.

Now Clark is trying to impart some of that wisdom into this year's  team as a sophomore.

"I would say the biggest thing about last year is how together you  have to be as a team, especially when things get tough: How do you  respond?," he remarked Wednesday night.

"And I think we learned how important leadership is, to have guys in  the locker room who are going to keep everything under control. When  things are going well, keep them going well, and when they're not  going well, turn it around."

Clark helped turn things around Wednesday for Kirkwood when he popped  in three straight 3-pointers in less than three minutes to help the  ninth-ranked Eagles pull away from John Wood College and post a 64-48  victory at Johnson Hall.

The Eagles (5-2) were clinging to a 44-42 lead with less than nine  minutes left. His three triples ignited a 16-0 run as Kirkwood took  command at 60-42 and pulled out of danger.



No. 1 KCC women beat Loras JV

Amara Lipsey tossed in five 3-pointers and scored 17 points Wednesday  night as the top-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team defeated the  Loras junior varsity, 96-54, at Johnson Hall.

The Eagles (7-0) scored 18 straight points in the second quarter and  opened a 54-25 bulge at halftime.

Kemara Watson scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds for  Kirkwood. Tatiana Hodges-Johnson posted a double-double with 10 points  and 11 rebounds. Ju Gaston and Delani Harris also scored 10 points.

Ashley Funk popped in 25 points for Loras with five 3-pointers.



No. 1 KCC women crush No. 9 Illinois Central

Paige Bradford and Kortney Drake collected double-doubles Saturday as the top-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team belted No. 9 Illinois Central, 74-45, in the second round of the Kirkwood Classic at Johnson Hall.

Bradford finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the tournament. Drake pitched in with 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Eagles raised their record to 6-0 by winning their third tournament of the campaign.

Amara Lipsey hit three 3-pointers and notched 11 points for Kirkwood. Jheda Kennedy contributed six assists. Bradford blocked three shots.

Kirkwood outscored Illinois Central, 23-7, in the second quarter to take a commanding 40-20 lead at halftime.

Summer Stoewer scored nine points for Illinois Central (3-4).



Healthy Rath sparks No.1 Eagles

Addison Rath was a little tired, but very happy.

She had just played five straight minutes at full speed for the Kirkwood Eagles Friday night before taking a well-deserved breather, having scored eight quick points to help spark the top-ranked Eagles after they got off to a slow start.

Kirkwood proceeded to whip McHenry County, 69-39, in the opening round of the Kirkwood Classic at Johnson Hall.

Rath had major knee surgery last December after playing only two games for Kirkwood and faced a grueling road to recovery.

"It's probably the most physically and mentally challenging thing I've ever had to go through," she remarked.

The Eagles were clinging to 15-12 lead when Rath went to work. She scored three straight baskets in three minutes to make it 21-12, then made a layup two minutes later before taking a rest, having gone 4-for-4 in a little more than five minutes.



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