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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

No. 4 Illinois Central tops No. 11 Eagles

PEORIA, Ill. - The Kirkwood Eagles have improved by 33 points in their  battles with Illinois Central this season, but it wasn't enough Sunday in the championship game of the Cougar Classic.

The 11th-ranked Eagles lost to No. 4 Illinois Central, 71-59, to finish second in the eight-team holiday tournament.

Illinois Central dumped Kirkwood, 94-49, when they met Dec. 10 in   Peoria, so the Eagles chopped their deficit from 45 points down to 12.

Illinois Central won its 14th straight game and raised its record to 14-1. Kirkwood fell to 11-5.

Mackenzie Jenkins led Kirkwood with 13 points. Ashley Tull netted 11 points and Anasha Hurst had 10. Tull, Hurst and Paige Bradford were named to the all-tournament team.



No. 11 Eagles eye title at Cougar Classic

PEORIA, Ill. - Anasha Hurst popped in 16 points Saturday to help the Kirkwood women's basketball team defeat Parkland, 67-47, in the semifinals of the Cougar Classic holiday tournament.

The 11th-ranked Eagles (11-4) will face fourth-ranked Illinois Central (13-1) in the finals Sunday at 4 p.m.

Kirkwood and Parkland were tied at halftime, 23-23, but the Eagles outscored Parkland 44-24 in the second half for the comfortable 20-point victory in Illinois.

Paige Bradford contributed 12 points for Kirkwood and Ashley Tull chipped in with 10 markers.

Olivia Babcock scored 11 points for Parkland (9-3), which shot 30.2 percent from the field and was 2 for 24 on 3-pointers.



No. 11 Eagles dump McHenry County

PEORIA, Ill. – The 11th-ranked Kirkwood Eagles demolished McHenry County, 89-28, in the opening round of the Cougar Classic holiday tournament Friday.

Kirkwood (10-4) will face Parkland (9-2) in the semifinals Saturday at 2 p.m.

Paige Bradford, Amara Lipsey and Haley Mullinnix led a balanced attack for the Eagles with 11 points apiece. Anasha Hurst contributed 10 points.

Kirkwood led 42-15 at halftime and outscored McHenry County 47-13 in the second half.



No. 11 Eagles win Lady Bobcat Classic

MILWAUKEE - The Kirkwood women's basketball team cruised to an 85-56 victory over Joliet Junior College Saturday in the championship game of the Lady Bobcat Classic.

The 11th-ranked Eagles (9-4) trailed 18-17 after the first quarter, but they smoked Joliet 26-9 in the second period to take a commanding 43-27 lead at halftime.

Ashley Tull finished with a double-double for Kirkwood with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Ju Gaston collected 15 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Anasha Hurst and Paige Bradford scored 13 points. Haley Mullinnix grabbed 10 rebounds. Mackenzie Jenkins had eight points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.



No. 3 KCC men earn holiday

The Kirkwood men's basketball team will have three weeks to enjoy what they've accomplished so far this season before they play another basketball game.

Happy holidays, Eagles.

The third-ranked Eagles spanked John Wood, 86-70, in a non-conference game at Johnson Hall Saturday to head into the holiday break with an 11-2 overall record.

Kirkwood will not play again until Jan. 5 and will not practice again for two weeks. Coach Bryan Petersen thinks his guys have earned a respite from the physical and mental grind of a long season.

"I think we've learned a lot about our team this first semester," he said. "There are some good things, but we also know our weaknesses.

"The 11-and-2 record is great, (but) a 2-and-0 record in league play is the most important thing right now."



Robinson sparks No. 11 Eagles by Owens

MILWAUKEE - Leah Robinson played her best game of the season Friday night to help the Kirkwood Eagles defeat Owens Community College,  60-40, in the opening round of the Lady Bobcat Classic.

Robinson collected 15 points, four rebounds and four steals for the 11th-ranked Eagles in 20 minutes off the bench. She shot 5-for-7 from the field and was 5-for-6 at the foul line.

Kirkwood (8-4) will face Joliet Junior College (9-3) in the championship game Saturday at 3 p.m.

Kirkwood trailed 17-10 after the first quarter, but the Eagles  outscored Owens 13-1 in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the second period  to move ahead in the ballgame. Kirkwood pounded Owens 23-11 in the  third quarter to firmly take control.



Eagles dumped by Blackhawks, 75-63

The Kirkwood Eagles shot poorly, committed 19 turnovers, got pounded on the backboards, missed too many free throws and struggled on defense much of the night.

"That's just a recipe for disaster," Coach Bryan Petersen acknowledged Wednesday night.

Southeastern Community College surged to a 22-point lead in the first half and dumped the Eagles, 75-63, in a non-conference game at Johnson Hall.

Kirkwood (10-2) has lost only two games all season and both setbacks have been to the Blackhawks, including an 86-84 verdict Nov. 3 in the second game of the campaign.

The Eagles had won nine straight games before running into a buzz-saw in the first half when SCC soared to a 34-12 advantage with seven minutes left in the stanza.

Petersen said the biggest problem was a lack of mental toughness.

"They came out and kind of took it right to us in a lot of ways," he said. "We couldn't finish around the rim, we couldn't get the ball across halfcourt against their pressure, and defensively we couldn't guard the paint. So a lot of things went wrong in the first five or 10 minutes."



Richards plans double-duty at Kirkwood

Olivia Richards plans to become the fourth member of her family to play volleyball in college, but she’s going to do something her three older sisters never tried.

Richards plans to play volleyball and softball at Kirkwood Community College after she graduates from Xavier High School this spring.

She’ll become the third member of her family to play volleyball for Coach Jill Williams at Kirkwood. Her sister Audrey played at Kirkwood in 2013 and 2014, then Madsy played for the Eagles in 2015 and 2016. Charlotte did not play at Kirkwood and is currently a freshman at Missouri-St. Louis, where she and Madsy are teammates on the volleyball team.

It’s fairly common for talented athletes to play multiple sports in high school, but it’s rare for people to play two sports in college because of the time demands. College volleyball is a fall sport, but the Kirkwood softball team practices in the fall as well. The college softball season begins in late winter and extends into the spring, but the volleyball team practices then as well.

"It's going to be hard," Richards acknowledged, but she's excited about the challenge.



Kasperbauer triples his fun with Eagles

Connor Kasperbauer is one of the sweetest 3-point shooters in junior college basketball this season and he's been a sweet, sweet addition to the Kirkwood Eagles.

Kasperbauer popped in seven 3-pointers Saturday and scored 23 points as the fourth-ranked Eagles topped Little Priest Tribal College, 82-64, in an ICCAC conference game at Johnson Hall.

Kasperbauer, a 6-foot-4 redshirt freshman from Ankeny, is 39-for-77 on 3-pointers this year for 50.6 percent. That's the highest percentage of any NJCAA Division II player in the country who has made at least 3 1/2 triples per game.

He tossed in eight 3-pointers against Morton College last month and has hit at least two triples in all 11 games.

"I've always been told, 'Shooters shoot,'" he remarked. "Every time I'm open I step up with confidence and I know there's a pretty good chance it's going in.

"A lot of times I don't look," he said. "It just feels good."

Kasperbauer normally sets up in the corner and his teammates do a good job of finding him.

"He's a great shooter, a really high IQ, a really great teammate," said Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen. "There's a lot of great things to say about Connor."

Kasperbauer made 115 3-pointers during his prep career at Ankeny Centennial and set the school record for most triples in one season. He made third team all-state and spent one year at Truman State University, where he was red-shirted last season and moved to Kirkwood.



Bradford, Tull pace No. 13 Eagles

Paige Bradford and Ashley Tull stole the show for the 13th-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team Saturday afternoon.

Bradford and Tull, a pair of freshman centers who share playing time in the post, combined for 32 points and 23 rebounds as the Eagles dumped Little Priest Tribal College, 77-44, in an ICCAC conference game at Johnson Hall.

Bradford, from Davenport, collected 17 points and 12 rebounds. Tull, from Troy Mills, finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Kirkwood led 31-23 after a fairly tight first half, but the Eagles blitzed the visitors 28-7 in the third quarter to take command.

Last Updated on Sunday, 09 December 2018 06:46



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