Wednesday, March 29, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Ajak hurt as No. 1 Eagles reach 24-0

The top-ranked Kirkwood Eagles raised their record to 24-0 Saturday  with a 93-71 victory over Southwestern, but there was no big  celebration or high-fives after the game.

The Eagles were too worried about freshman Awal Ajak to relish the  latest triumph in their perfect season.

Ajak, a talented 6-foot freshman from Des Moines, hurt her left knee  in the third quarter and left the gym on crutches. The extent of the  injury will be determined in the next few days, but Coach Kim Muhl  thinks it could be significant.

"I'm not optimistic," he said. "It's not good, I don't think. We'll see."

Ajak got hurt when she hustled back on defense following an errant  pass by the Eagles. She crumpled under the basket and spent several  minutes on the floor while being examined by the Kirkwood trainer  before being helped to the locker room.

"It starts with a bad pass," said Muhl. "You throw it away, you've got  to run it down and bad stuff happens."

Ajak has been a key reserve for Kirkwood, averaging 8.1 points and 3.7  rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game. The Eagles have a deep squad, but  her absence would be significant.

Southwestern (12-10, 3-5) gave Kirkwood a good game in the first half.  The visitors drained nine 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes and  trailed by only four points at intermission, 46-42.



Wentzien helps KCC sink Iowa Lakes

The Kirkwood Eagles were sorely disappointed when Miles Wentzien decided to begin his college career somewhere else last year, but they were delighted to get him on the rebound.

The 6-foot-3 guard from Fort Madison has been a key ingredient for the 16th-ranked Eagles this season after transferring here from Missouri Western University.

Wentzien stuffed the stat sheet again Saturday with 24 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals as Kirkwood buried Iowa Lakes, 97-66, in an ICCAC conference game at Johnson Hall.

Wentzien leads Kirkwood in three major departments at 13.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. He's also third on the club in  assists.

"There's a lot to like," said Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen. "First of  all, he's a great kid. He's very coachable, he works extremely hard on  his game, and he's very versatile.

"He can do a lot of different things on the court. He can score, he  can rebound, he can defend and he can really pass."

Wentzien enjoyed a terrific prep career at Fort Madison, which is the school that sent Ryan Bowen to the Iowa Hawkeyes and the NBA. He averaged 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, five steals and three steals as a senior two years ago and broke the career scoring record with 1,570  points.



No. 1 Kirkwood women now 23-0

The top-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team has reached the  midpoint of the conference race with a perfect record.

If the Eagles sweep the landscape again in the second half of the  ICCAC campaign, they'll finish the regular season at 30-0 overall and 14-0 in the conference.

Kirkwood smashed Iowa Lakes, 92-43, Saturday afternoon with another dominating performance at Johnson Hall.

Deleyah Harris led the Eagles (23-0, 7-0) with 19 points and six  rebounds. Simone Goods collected a double-double with 15 points and 11  rebounds.

Shaneequah Watkins pitched in with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Christmas Puok tallied 10 points in 10 minutes off the bench.

Kirkwood led 50-19 at halftime.



No. 1 Kirkwood women escape NIACC

MASON CITY - The Kirkwood women's basketball team received its biggest scare of the season Wednesday night, but the top-ranked Eagles escaped Mason City with a 71-65 victory over NIACC.

Kirkwood raised its records to 22-0 overall and 6-0 in the conference, but it was the first time all season that the Eagles did not win by double figures.

Deleyah Harris led Kirkwood with 14 points. Simone Goods finished with a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Tay Wilson contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Eagles. Awal Ajak grabbed nine rebounds and Olivia Usher had seven rebounds.

Khalilah Holloway scored 17 points for NIACC (11-10, 3-3).

KIRKWOOD (71): Harris 4 4-5 14, T. Wilson 2 5-5 11, Puok 2 0-0 4,  Axcell 3 1-2 8, Ajak 2 2-4 6, Watkins 2 2-4 6, Voss 2 0-0 4, Cotton 1 0-0 2, Goods 5 3-4 13, Usher 1 1-2 3, Achenbach 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 18-26 71.

NIACC (65): Laabs 3 0-0 9, Longs 1 0-0 3, Cuffe 3 2-3 8, Stewart 0 0-0 0, Holloway 7 1-1 17, Galvin 1 0-0 3, Larson 3 2-2 9, Happel 1 0-0 3, Stanciel 2 0-0 4, Willert 3 0-0 8, Seely 0 0-0 0, Davidson 0 1-3 1. Totals 24 6-9 65.

Halftime -  NIACC 36, Kirkwood 33. 3-point goals - Kirkwood 5 (Harris 2, Wilson 2, Axcell 1). NIACC 11 (Laabs 3, Longs 1, Holloway 2, Galvin 1, Larson 1, Happel 1, Willert 2).


No. 16 Kirkwood men top NIACC

MASON CITY - Miles Wentzien scored 21 points and snared nine rebounds Wednesday night as the 16th-ranked Kirkwood Eagles trimmed NIACC, 68-60, in a conference game in Mason City.

The Eagles (17-4, 4-1) built their lead to as much as 16 points during the ballgame. NIACC pulled within eight points, but got no closer.

Wentzien, a sophomore from Fort Madison, made three 3-pointers in the ballgame and hit all four of his free throws. Da'Rion King scored 11 points for the Eagles.

Nick Wurm scored 19 points for NIACC (13-8, 2-3).

KIRKWOOD (68): Triplett 3 0-0 6, Harp 3 1-2 9, Jackson 2 0-0 5, Wentzien 7 4-4 21, Meeker 0 0-0 0, Fagan 2 4-4 9, C.King 2 2-2 7, Marble 0 0-0 0, D.King 5 1-3 11. Totals 24 12-15 68.

NIACC (60): Baker 4 2-2 10, Wurm 5 7-8 19, Rathjen 5 0-0 13, Trousell 5 1-4 11, Taylor-Breck 1 0-0 3, Lloyd 1 0-1 2, White 1 0-0 2. Totals  22 10-15 60.

Halftime - Kirkwood 36, NIACC 27. 3-point goals - Kirkwood 8 (Wentzien  3, Harp 2, Jackson 1, Fagan 1, C.King 1), NIACC 6 (Rathjen 3, Wurm 2,  Taylor-Breck 1).


King sparks No. 17 Eagles by Tritons

The five members of the Kirkwood men's basketball team who had to  serve a two-game suspension for a minor infraction earlier this month  were anxious to get rolling again Saturday.

It took 20 minutes to get fully in gear, but the 17th-ranked Eagles  eased their pain by whipping Iowa Central, 101-72, in a conference  game at Johnson Hall.

Chris King, Byron Harp, Miles Wentzien, Ethan Meeker and Elijah Henry  were suspended by the National Junior College Athletic Association for  two games for their roles in an incident against Ellsworth 10 days  ago, but they were back Saturday.

King popped in six 3-pointers, scored 26 points and dished out seven  assists as Kirkwood raised its record to 16-4 overall.

The Eagles led by only one point at halftime, 44-43, but they clamped  down on defense in the second half and quickly pulled away. Kirkwood  shot 66.7 percent from the field in the second half and clobbered Iowa  Central in bench points for the game, 41-2.

The Eagles had trouble guarding Tray Croft and Prince Moss in the  first half, but the second half was an entirely different story. Croft  and Moss combined to score 56 of the visitor's 72 points, but most of  that damage occurred in the first half.

King said the difference in the second half was simple.

"Just guarding the ball with passion," he said. "The first half he  (Croft) was scoring because everybody wasn't buying in and trying to  help each other out. But the second half we really got back to what we  usually do."



No. 1 Kirkwood women cruise to 20-0

KEOKUK - Deleyah Harris scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Wednesday night as the top-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team plastered Southeastern Community College, 79-44, in a conference game  in Keokuk.

Simone Goods contributed 13 points for the Eagles, who raised their perfect record to 20-0. Shaneequah Watkins contributed 10 points and seven rebounds for Kirkwood.

KIRKWOOD (79): Harris 7 1-1 16, T. Wilson 3 0-1 7, Puok 1 0-0 2, Hedges 0 0-0 0, Axcell 1 0-0 2, Ajak 3 1-1 7, Taylor 2 0-0 6, Watkins 4 1-2 10, Voss 3 1-2 7, Cotton 1 1-2 4, C. Wilson 0 0-0 0, Goods 6 1-1 13, Usher 1 0-0 3, Achenbach 0 2-2 2. Totals 32 8-12 79.

3-point goals - Kirkwood 7 (Taylor 2, Harris 1, T. Wilson 1, Watkins 1,  Cotton 1, Usher 1).


KCC baseball players lend cagers a hand

Cal Clark, Nate Barnes, Brock Adams and Jake McLaughlin became instant  folk heroes at Kirkwood Community College Tuesday night.

It was the darndest thing you've ever seen.

Clark, Barnes, Adams and McLaughlin are baseball players at Kirkwood,  but they answered the call when the men's basketball team needed a  boost and left Johnson Hall to a standing ovation after the 17th-ranked Eagles defeated the Grand View junior varsity, 99-63.

Five Kirkwood basketball players were handed two-game suspensions by  the National Junior College Athletic Association last week for their roles in a mishap in the final minute of a home game against Ellsworth. That left KCC Coach Bryan Petersen with only five eligible players for Saturday's conference game at DMACC and for Tuesday's home  game with Grand View.

Petersen asked Kirkwood baseball coach Todd Rima if he had any players who might be able to help the team for a few days and Rima recommended  Clark, Barnes, Adams and McLaughlin.

Clark played a pivotal role in both games, first in the 58-50 victory  over DMACC and again Tuesday. He played 18 minutes as the "sixth man"  against DMACC and reprised the role against Grand View with 21 key  minutes off the bench.

Clark, who played basketball and baseball at Cedar Rapids Prairie, collected five assists against Grand View and looked comfortable as an emergency college basketball player.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 January 2017 09:23



Kirkwood softball ranked No. 4 for 2017

The Kirkwood softball team has been ranked No. 4 in the preseason rankings by the NJCAA for Division II.

The Eagles tied for fifth at the national tournament last season and finished with a 58-6 record.

LSU Eunice is ranked No. 1, followed by Phoenix, Jones County, Kirkwood and Mississippi Gulf Coast in the Top 5.

DMACC is ranked No. 6 in the country and Iowa Central is No. 18.

Kirkwood opens the 2017 season on Feb. 18 at the St. Ambrose Dome Tournament in Davenport.


Kirkwood wins without 5 suspended players

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.

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 January 2017 20:11



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