Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Illinois Central drills No. 2 Eagles

EAST PEORIA, Ill. - The Kirkwood women's basketball team has gotten off to a rough start this season.

The Eagles were drilled by seventh-ranked Illinois Central, 94-49, in the second round of the Illinois Central Classic Saturday afternoon.

Kirkwood were ranked No. 2 in the country in the NJCAA Division II preseason poll after finishing second in the national tournament last year, but the Eagles have a 1-3 record with three lopsided losses.

Illinois Central outscored the Eagles, 52-18, in the second half after leading 42-31 at intermission.

Jheda Kennedy led Kirkwood with nine points. The Eagles shot 16 for 53 from the floor for 30.2 percent.



No. 2 Eagles capture first win of season

EAST PEORIA, Ill. - The second-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team broke into the victory column Friday with a lopsided 62-21 triumph over Danville Community College at the Illinois Central Classic.

Mackenzie Jenkins led the Eagles (1-2) with 14 points. Ashley Tull added 13 for Kirkwood.

The Eagles began the season with two losses against NJCAA Division I opponents at the State Fair Classic in Missouri last weekend.



No. 5 Eagles dump Mount Mercy JV

Bryan Petersen spent a lot of time shaking his head in disappointment during the first half Tuesday night, so don't be fooled by Kirkwood's 101-54 victory over the Mount Mercy junior varsity at Johnson Hall.

The fifth-ranked Eagles sputtered to a 42-30 lead at intermission before getting untracked in the second half.

"The first half obviously wasn't very good," said Petersen, in his sixth year as Kirkwood's head coach. "Obviously these type of games (against JV opponents) are hard to play in sometimes, but it was the home opener.

"I was kind of hoping that we'd come out with a little more urgency from the beginning, which was kind of disappointing."

The Eagles (2-1) have four new starters in the lineup to team with returning All-American Doug Wilson, so Petersen knows it will take time as he tries to mold the team.

"The second half obviously was better," he said. "I thought some guys came in and sparked us a little bit and brought some energy. But it was disappointing that we didn't have better energy in the first 20 minutes.



Aldrich-Ingram, Keane honored

Alexa Aldrich-Ingram of Kirkwood has been named the ICCAC Division II Player of the Year in women's volleyball for the 2018 season.

Lauren Keane of Kirkwood joined Aldrich-Ingram as a first-team selection on the the conference honor squad.

Abbi Tunis was named to the second team and Maddie Lavenz received honorable mention.

Kirkwood (32-8) has qualified for the NJCAA Division II national tournament in in West Virginia Nov. 15-17.


No. 7 Eagles soar to national tourney

Alexa Aldrich-Ingram nearly quit college volleyball a year ago after a disappointing season at Drake, where the Bulldogs tried to convert the phenomenal kill-shot artist into a setter.

Now she's headed to the junior college national tournament with her new friends at Kirkwood with a brilliant smile on her face.

"Coming to Kirkwood has been one of the best decisions I've made," Aldrich-Ingram said Sunday afternoon after the Eagles punched their ticket to the NJCAA Division II tournament. "I'm so glad I came here. It's been an exciting year."

And it's not over yet.

The seventh-ranked Eagles spanked Metropolitan Community College of Missouri, 25-15, 25-22, 25-19, to win the District D championship and qualify for the national meet in Charleston, W.Va., from Nov. 15-17.

Aldrich-Ingram, a 5-foot-8 southpaw from Iowa City West, collected 16 kills and leads the nation with 632, many of them devastating rips that make opponents fear for their safety.

She has incredible hang-time, reminiscent of NBA great Michael Jordan, and swings that left arm with incredible force.

"She's a crowd-pleaser," said Kirkwood Coach Jill Williams. "She creates that energy. People love to see that.



No. 5 Eagles fall to SCC at buzzer

WEST BURLINGTON - Steven Cager hit a floater at the buzzer to give the  Southeastern Blackhawks an 86-84 victory over Kirkwood in the second  round of The Broadway Classic on Saturday.

Doug Wilson led the fifth-ranked Eagles (1-1) with 22 points and eight  rebounds. Devonte Thedford produced 18 points and seven rebounds for  Kirkwood.

Allante Pickens tossed in four 3-pointers and scored 16 points for the  Eagles. Connor Kasperbauer made three triples and scored 10 points.  Seybian Sims grabbed 10 rebounds.

Marquis Collins scored 18 points to lead five SCC players into double figures.



KCC women cannot get out of Dodge

SEDALIA, Mo. - The Kirkwood women's basketball team has begun the  season with two straight losses to NJCAA Division I ballclubs.

The Eagles lost to Dodge City Community College, 66-57, in the second  round of the State Fair Classic Saturday and left the tournament  empty-handed.

Kirkwood fell to Butler Community College, 45-30, in their opener  Friday. Kirkwood is an NJCAA Division II school, with less scholarship  money than Division I outfits like Butler and Dodge City.



Wilson powers No. 5 Eagles in opener

WEST BURLINGTON - Doug Wilson played like an All-American Friday and powered the fifth-ranked Kirkwood Eagles to an 86-71 victory over Illinois Central in the first round of The Broadway Classic.

Wilson, a second team All-American last season, collected 28 points, 13 rebounds, three blocked shots and three assists as the Eagles won  their season opener.

Allante Pickens and Connor Kasperbauer tossed in 14 points apiece for Kirkwood. Luke Appel contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Devonte Thedford and Brady Sartorius added eight points for the Eagles.



No. 2 KCC women smothered, 45-30

SEDALIA, Mo. - The Kirkwood women's basketball team suffered through one of the worst offensive performances in school history Friday.

The Eagles were smothered by Butler Community College, 45-30, in the opening round of the State Fair Classic.

Kirkwood is ranked No. 2 in NJCAA Division II, while Butler is ranked No. 16 in NJCAA Division I.

The Eagles made only 8 of 54 shots from the field for 14.8 percent. They were 3 of 25 on 3-pointers for 12 percent.



'New' Eagles begin year ranked No. 5

Bryan Petersen thought he'd have lots of experienced guards on the Kirkwood men's basketball team this season, but then the exodus began.

Bailey Kale left the team a year early to pursue a music career. Tajen Ross quit to pursue a modeling career. Jay Small transferred to a school closer to home so he could play basketball AND golf at the collegiate level. LJ Stansbury and Semaj Raj left for schools closer to their homes as well.

That stripped the Eagles of five guards and 29.1 points and left them with no experience in the backcourt, unless you count Traivon Washington, who got into three games last season before red-shirting.

Petersen is entering his sixth year at Kirkwood with a 126-34 record and one national title, but it's the first time he's starting a new year with a brand-new backcourt.

"That's been unique," he said. "To be honest, I'm a little bit more concerned because of that."



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