Small College Sports

Kirkwood men's basketball opens postseason with 98-78 rout of Little Priest Tribal College

Top-seeded Eagles advance to regional semifinal Thursday against Iowa Central

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Kirkwood men’s basketball team hopes it has its letdown out of the way.

Six days after having a win streak stopped at 14 games, the second-ranked Eagles opened postseason play with an NJCAA Division II regional quarterfinal game against Little Priest Tribal College.

Sophomore guard Chris King led all scorers with 28 points as top-seeded Kirkwood dispatched the Warriors, 98-78, Tuesday night at Johnson Hall.

“We know that we can be beat if we don’t come out to play,” King said. “It’s best to have it then than now.”

King shot 77 percent from the field against Little Priest, including 7 of 10 3-point attempts. The Des Moines Hoover grad leads the Eagles with 17.5 points and 3.8 assists per contest.

“We were getting it inside and playing inside-out basketball,” King said. “Just trying to get stops. We’re a really good shooting team so if we play inside out, we have good offensive games.”

Kirkwood (24-5) scored 24 of 33 points early in the first half for a 28-17 lead, then pushed the advantage to 29 points at 84-55 with a 32-12 second-half surge.


“We found a way to get it going in the second half,” said sophomore guard Ethan Meeker, who scored 13 points via three 3-pointers. “We shared the ball, we made some shots. I think that is really what got us going.”

Freshman forward Doug Wilson — another former Des Moines Hoover prep — posted a team-high seven rebounds, while freshman guard Bailey Kale tallied a game-high six assists.

Sophomore guard Carlo Marble — a West Des Moines Valley grad and the youngest son of the late University of Iowa player Roy Marble — had 11 points and six rebounds off the bench for Kirkwood.

West Central alum Ethan Steinbronn had 25 points and 14 rebounds for Little Priest, which retired at 14-17.

The Eagles will play Iowa Central (20-11) Thursday at 7 p.m. at Johnson Hall in the regional semifinals. Iowa Central downed Ellsworth, 72-67, in their quarterfinal.

While the Iowa Central victory denied Kirkwood the opportunity to avenge the Ellsworth loss from six days ago, Thursday’s winner will play Saturday for a berth in the national tournament.

“They’re a really good shooting team,” Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen said of Iowa Central. “They’ve got a really good player, their point guard Trey Croft, is one of the best in our conference. … Then they’ve got some other guys that can make some shots around him. They’re a good team. They really challenge your defense because they can spread the floor. That’s going to be the biggest challenge, guarding him and guarding the 3-point line.”

Men’s basketball


Kirkwood 98, Little Priest 78

LITTLE PRIEST (78): Ethan Steinbronn 10-19 4-4 25, Tyren King 1-3 0-0 2, Jalen Dunlap 6-10 1-2 16, Jordan Oliver 6-16 0-2 15, Earl Gresham 2-7 1-2 5, Tyrese Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Davean Yazzie 4-7 0-0 10, Aaron Winishut 2-3 0-0 5, Totals 31-65 6-10 78.


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KIRKWOOD (98): Bailey Kale 2-4 0-0 6, Ethan Meeker 5-11 0-0 13, Chris King 10-13 1-2 28, Doug Wilson 4-8 1-1 9, Kyle Arrington 2-3 0-0 4, LJ Stansbury 3-6 1-1 7, Jay Small 3-8 1-2 8, Semaj Ray 1-1 0-0 3, Tajen Ross 3-5 0-0 7, Carlo Marble 4-8 1-1 11, Taejuan Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, Justin Storey 0-2 0-0 0, Totals 38-70 5-7 98.

Little Priest 32 46—78

Kirkwood 42 56—98

Halftime — Kirkwood, 42-32. Three-point goals — Little Priest 10-22 (Oliver 3-4, Dunlap 3-6, Yazzie 2-4, Winishut 1-2, Steinbronn 1-3, Gresham 0-1, King 0-2), Kirkwood 17-35 (King 7-10, Meeker 3-7, Kale 2-4, Marble 2-4, Ray 1-1, Ross 1-2, Small 1-6, Storey 0-1). Rebounds — Little Priest 30 (Steinbronn 14), Kirkwood 37 (Wilson 7). Assists — Little Priest 13 (Oliver 5), Kirkwood 24 (Kale 6). Turnovers — Little Priest 10, Kirkwood 10. Total fouls — Little Priest 11, Kirkwood 14. Fouled out — None.

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