KCC women eye regional title

Saturday, 09 March 2019 20:02 Metro Sports Report 


Mackenzie Jenkins

MASON CITY - To no one's surprise, the fourth-ranked Kirkwood Eagles and second-ranked NIACC Trojans will battle for the regional title in women's basketball Sunday.


To everyone's chagrin, only one of these premier teams will qualify for the national tournament and the other one will be done for the year.

Only the regional champion reaches the national tournament. There are no at-large bids in NJCAA Division II basketball, so one of the best teams in the country will not make it.

Kirkwood reached the regional finals by topping DMACC, 68-60, in the semifinals Saturday in Mason City. NIACC advanced by stomping Iowa  Central, 88-49, in the other semifinal.

Kirkwood (27-6) and NIACC (26-5) will tangle Sunday at 1 p.m. on  NIACC's home floor in Mason City. The two teams tied for the conference title and swapped six-point victories on their home courts,  but NIACC won the tiebreaker and was awarded the home-court advantage in the regional.

Mackenzie Jenkins led the Eagles Saturday with 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Paige Bradford contributed 10  points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Haley Mullinnix had 10 points and five rebounds. Ju Gaston collected nine points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Leah  Robinson had eight points and nine rebounds.

DMACC finished the season at 16-15.

KIRKWOOD (68): Bradford 5 0-0 10, Jenkins 8 1-1 18, Gaston 1 7-8 9,  Hurst 1 3-4 5, Mullinnix 3 2-2 10, Lipsey 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 1 0-0 2,  Myers 0 0-0 0, Tomaszewski 2 0-0 4, Robinson 2 3-4 8, Mensen 1 0-0 2.  Totals 24 16-19 68.

Halftime - Kirkwood 35, DMACC 31. 3-point goals - Kirkwood 4  (Mullinnix 2, Jenkins 1, Robinson 1).