Wednesday March 15th Local Sports
MASON CITY — NIACC sophomore Audrey Martinez-Stewart has been named as the Region XI women’s basketball defensive player of the year and also been named as a first-team All-Region XI selection. Martinez-Stewart led the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference with 104 steals, which ranks ninth nationally. She also led the conference with 158 assists, which ranks sixth on the school’s all-time single-season list. Martinez-Stewart was a third-team all-region selection as a freshman. She ranks third on the school’s all-time list for assists and steals. Teammates Kourtney Manning and Jackie Pippett were second-team all-region selections while Kameron Jones was a third-team all-region selection.
MASON CITY — NIACC sophomore Myles Tucker has been selected to the All-Region XI men’s basketball first team. Tucker was one of eight first-team all-region selections. It’s the fifth straight season that a NIACC men’s basketball player has earned first-team all-region honors. The Ottawa Illinois native averaged 19.7 points per game, which led the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference. Tucker had four games over 30 points this season, going for a career-high 42 at Southwestern on January 28th. Tucker finished his NIACC career with 1028 points, which ranks 10th on the school’s career scoring list. He also ranks fourth on the school’s all-time three-pointers list with 125.
IOWA CITY — Iowa junior Kris Murray was named as a third-team Associated Press All-American on Tuesday. Murray is averaging a team-best 20.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per outing. He is the only Division I player to average 20+ points, 7.5+ rebounds, one block, and have made 60+ 3-pointers this season. Purdue big man Zach Edey headlined The Associated Press 2022-23 All-America team as a unanimous first-team selection. Edey was joined on the first team by Kansas’ Jalen Wilson, Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, Houston’s Marcus Sasser and Alabama’s Brandon Miller.
AMES — Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger says this season has been another step in the right direction for the program. Otzelberger took over a program that went winless in the Big 12 in 2021 and led the Cyclones to the Sweet 16 a year ago. They head to Greensboro with a 19-13 record and open the NCAA Tournament Friday against Pittsburgh, who won last night’s First Four game against Mississippi State in Dayton.
The Cyclones reached as high as seventh in the national polls during the season.
One reason for the immediate turnaround was a group of transfers who bought in to what Otzelberger was selling. One of those is senior guard Gabe Kalscheur, who began his career at Minnesota.
Kalscheur says he felt the ISU program was poised to enjoy immediate success under Otzelberger.
Kalscheur says he chose Iowa State because of the winning culture Otzelberger was building.
Pittsburgh held off a late rally by Mississippi State for a 60-59 win in Dayton as part of the First Four. Tip time for Friday’s game has been set for 2:10pm.
DES MOINES — Drake takes late season momentum into Friday’s start of the NCAA Tournament in Albany, New York. Winners of 13 of their last 14, the Bulldogs play 16th-ranked Miami Friday evening.
That’s Drake coach Darian DeVries. The Bulldogs have an experienced team that won an NCAA Tournament game two years ago.
The 12th seeded Bulldogs are the underdog but DeVries is confident they will make a good showing.
Drake senior point guard Roman Penn says the Hurricanes will provide a tough challenge.
For Penn it is a return to the city where his college career started. He played his freshman season at Siena (see-en-uh) College.
The Bulldogs turned it on in the second half of the season. Named the preseason Missouri Valley favorites, the Bulldogs stumbled out of the gate to a 2-3 start to conference play.
AMES — The 17th-ranked Iowa State women open the NCAA Tournament Saturday afternoon in Knoxville Tennessee against Toledo. Iowa State’s Bill Fennelly coached at Toledo for seven years and led the Rockets to three trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Fennelly posted a 166-53 record at Toledo before taking the Iowa State job in July 1995.
Toledo is 28-4 and coming off the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship.
Fennelly says Toledo is skilled on offense.
Tennessee and St. Louis meet in the other first round game.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings reached an agreement with quarterback Kirk Cousins to change bonus language in his existing contract that cleared $16 million from their salary cap for 2023. A person with knowledge of the negotiation confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce it. Cousins will enter his sixth season with the Vikings. He’s currently without a commitment from the club beyond that. The Vikings also reached agreements to bring back center Garrett Bradbury, long snapper Andrew DePaola and backup quarterback Nick Mullens.
FORT SCOTT KANSAS — The 18th-ranked NIACC softball team split their doubleheader at Fort Scott Kansas Community College on Tuesday afternoon. NIACC took the opener 11-0 in five innings. Laken Lienhard tossed a three-hit shutout with four strikeouts. The Trojans socked five homers in the opener, including two from Sydney Toman, with single homers from Brynnlin Kroyman, Katy Olive and Emily Jones. Olive also homered in the nightcap with Taya Tucker going two-for-three with an RBI as NIACC fell 3-2. NIACC is now 15-5 and will play a pair of games in Overland Park Kansas this afternoon, facing Indian Hills and Johnson County Community College.