Thursday March 18th Local Sports
AM-1300 KGLO — NCAA men’s basketball First Four — 4:00 PM
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Drake basketball coach Darian DeVries has agreed to an eight-year contract extension through 2028-29, athletic director Brian Hardin announced Wednesday night.
DeVries has led the Bulldogs to 20-win seasons each of his first three years at the school. Drake, at 25-9, has the third-most wins in the nation and will play Wichita State in an NCAA First Four game Thursday.
Terms of the extension weren’t announced.
DeVries, a longtime Creighton assistant before taking the Drake job in 2018, has twice been named the Missouri Valley Conference coach of the year.
The Bulldogs won the MVC regular-season title in his first year and have appeared in the conference tournament semifinals three times, including one title-game appearance.
INDIANAPOLIS — Three years after taking over a Drake program that did not have enough scholarship players to fill a starting lineup, Darian DeVries leads the Bulldogs into the NCAA Tournament tonight with a First Four game against Wichita State.
Being part of the First Four gives the Bulldogs a chance to play in the national spotlight.
DeVries says the key in a tournament is to play with a sense of urgency.
DeVries says leading scorer Tank Hemphill is expected to play tonight. Hemphill has been out since he underwent foot surgery on February 11th.
When not practicing the Bulldogs have spent most of their time at the hotel. Junior guard D.J. Wilkins says they don’t mind.
Wilkins says the Bulldogs played a lot of big games down the stretch and he is not concerned about the stage being too big.
Tonight’s game will be played on the 50th anniversary of Drake’s last NCAA Tournament victory, an overtime win against Notre Dame in the 1971 Sweet Sixteen. Tipoff time tonight from Mackey Arena on the Purdue University campus is scheduled for just before 5:30.
ESTHERVILLE — Iowa Lakes outscored NIACC 43-31 in the first half on their way to an 89-72 win in Iowa Community College Athletic Conference men’s basketball last night. Bradley Andrews scored 25 points while McKelary Robertson added 17 to lead the Trojans, who drop to 4-14 overall and in the conference. NIACC will host Northeast Community College on Saturday. The NIACC women had their second straight game cancelled last night due to the team being on a COVID pause.
MASON CITY – NIACC’s McKenna Mentink was selected as the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Division II softball pitcher of the week for the week of March 8-14.
Mentink earned the honor for pitching the Lady Trojans to an 11-1 five-inning victory over the Mount Mercy Junior Varsity in the second game of a doubleheader in Cedar Rapids on March 10.
Mentink struck out a career-best nine with two walks and only allowed two hits and one run for her second collegiate victory.
She is the first NIACC softball player to win the league’s weekly honor since the week of April 1-7, 2019 when sisters Kaci Sherwood and Kylie Sherwood were selected as the ICCAC’s player and pitcher of the week, respectively.
NIACC (2-0) is scheduled to return to action Saturday and Sunday at home against Northeast Community College in a four-game conference series.
ST. LOUIS — The top-ranked Iowa wrestling team hopes the wait is worth it as the NCAA Championships begin today. The Hawkeyes were heavily favored to win the team title last season when the tournament was cancelled. Iowa is coming off a dominant performance at the Big Ten Championships.
That’s Iowa coach Tom Brands. The Hawkeyes have four wrestlers who are top seeded but Brands says it is all about the first round right now.
Iowa 125-pounder Spencer Lee is favored to win a third national title and says the Hawkeyes are highly motivated.
The tournament is taking place in St. Louis.