Northwestern Women Win 3rd Consecutive NAIA Title

The Northwestern College women’s basketball team won its third straight NAIA Division II women’s basketball national championship with a 75-62 win over #3 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The Red Raiders have an NAIA record five national championships, winning four of the last five.

Northwestern started fast, scoring the first eight points of the game, and held a 20-8 lead after a Val Kleinjan three-pointer at the 10:27 mark. Kami Kuhlmann scored 12 of the first 20 points for the Red Raiders, who held Ozarks to just three field goals over the first 11 minutes.

Both teams shot under their season average over the first 20 minutes. Northwestern shot 39% from the field and was led by Kuhlmann with 16 points at the break. Ozarks shot 29% and was led by MCAC player of the year, Morgan Smith, with 11 points.

NWC pushed the lead to nine in the early stages of the second half but a 9-0 Bobcats run tied the game at 48 and Ozarks missed on a chance to take its first lead of the game after a missed three-point attempt by Maranda Vaught with under 13 minutes left. Northwestern responed with a 5-0 run and gradually built the lead back up to seven (62-55) on a basket by Samantha Kleinsasser. Ozarks made it a five-point game (64-59) after a basket by Vaught but the Red Raiders scored the next seven points, using outstanding defense to hold the Bobcats scoreless for three minutes, and went on to win their fifth national championship, 75-62.

Northwestern shot 40% from the field and was led by tournament most valuable player, Kami Kuhlmann, who scored a game-high 27 points, The senior closes out her outstanding career in sixth place all time with 2,028 points and in fifth place all-time at the national tournament with 292 points. Kendra De Jong recorded her fifth straight double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, earning all-tournament honors. Samantha Kleinsasser added 13 points and six rebounds off the bench.

Ozarks was led by Morgan Smith, who carried the Bobcats offense with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Maranda Vaught added 16 points, going just 2-for-12 from the three-point line Ozarks shot 31% and was held to 19% from the three-point line. They finish the season with a 33-4 overall record.

Kuhlmann was named tournament most valuable player and De Jong was named to the first team.


First Team:
Kelsey Combs, College of the Ozarks (Mo.)
Kendra De Jong, Northwestern (Iowa)
Jennifer Jorgensen, Grand View (Iowa)
Kami Kuhlmann, Northwestern (Iowa)
Katie Rich, Concordia (Neb.)
Morgan Smith, College of the Ozarks (Mo.)

Second Team:
Korrie Bourn, Eastern Oregon
Kristen Conahan, Concordia (Neb.)
Kelsey Evans, Briar Cliff (Iowa)
Bria Fields, Mount Mercy (Iowa)
Krystal Stoneking, Indiana Wesleyan

Most Valuable Player:
Kami Kuhlmann, Northwestern (Iowa): 22.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.4 apg, 2.6 spg, 32/37 FT (86.5%) in 5 games


CRP Signup Benefits Soil, Water, Wildlife

Iowa landowners, conservationists, hunters and others will be watching closely over the next few weeks, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture holds its 2012 general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

Since the 1980s, CRP has been a major contributor to soil conservation, improved water quality and increased wildlife habitat…while providing payments to owners of erodible farm land. This year’s sign up – March 12 through April 6 – arrives during an era of high commodity prices. That could drive down the incentive to re-enroll idled land; putting it back into row crops.

It also comes as Congress debates authorization of the next Farm Bill, with strong indications the CRP enrollment ‘cap’ will drop substantially. Currently, that cap is 32-million acres. Early drafts suggest a cap of 25-million in the next program. As landowners across the country decide– including those in Iowa with 1.7 million acres currently in CRP and nearly 232,000 coming out this fall -they are anticipating a significant drop in the acres to be offered.

That would mean at least a couple years, under the new Farm Bill, before there could be future general signups. “Chances are very good the acreage cap will decrease. Opportunities to sign up in the future would be few and far between,” cautions Kelly Smith, private lands coordinator with the Department of Natural Resources. “We know there is an opportunity this year. Landowners who sign up (get) a 10 or 15 year contract. If there are fewer acres authorized (in the next Farm Bill), there may not be an opportunity.”

In Cerro Gordo County, landowner Dave Hansen is sold on the environmental benefits of CRP. “You stop a lot of the erosion; especially on your steeper slopes. You stop a tremendous amount of erosion by having filter strips or areas that are highly erodible (planted) to grasslands and protected,” he points out; walking a steep, irregular field corner.

Hansen just last year placed the four-acres into the program; a small parcel, but a headache for his operation. “It is D and E slopes; very steep. It’s odd shaped and with today’s equipment is almost impossible to farm,” stresses Hansen. “You spend more time trying to maneuver than actually planting…It just relieves a lot of problems.”

CRP turns it into a ‘win win’ proposition. Besides a payment to leave it idle; the land becomes productive in a different way. “The (native) grasses need nitrogen. Some of the forbs will actually be our legume and provide the nitrogen and (provide) a better stand.”

“CRP provides clean water and air for all Iowans. It preserves the land for future generations, by keeping the soil where it belongs,” reminds Smith; pointing out that losses of grassland acres across the Midwest have negative effects on many wildlife populations; ranging from pheasants to songbirds.

The Farm Services Agency of the USDA is holding CRP information meetings across Iowa. Information can be found at



By Joe Wilkinson

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Modified Two-hook Alabama Rig Meets Iowa Fishing Laws

A new fishing lure may be catching more anglers than fish and is generating quite a buzz on message boards and sports shows across Iowa.

The Alabama Rig, as it is called, is an umbrella-type rig and consists of a weighted head with five wire leaders trailing behind.  Each wire leader can be used to attach lures which when pulled through the water will simulate a school of baitfish.  This new rig has been featured on competitive fishing shows, in magazines and fishing seminars for the past year. It is now sold in major outdoor sports stores in various states which brings the question of, is it legal?

“There has been a lot of confusion over this rig and how it fits or doesn’t fit in our laws,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau. “In Iowa our anglers are limited to two hooks per line so the fully-rigged Alabama Rig would be illegal to fish with in Iowa.  However, anglers may use a two-hook version of the Alabama Rig in which five baits are attached to the rig but only two of these baits have hooks.

“The Alabama Rig is used primarily for largemouth bass and some bass tournaments have already banned the use of it during their tournaments,” he said.  “Our officers are aware of the rig and just as they do with all of our fish and game laws, they will be checking for compliance.”

Sterler To Wrestle For Team Iowa

Ryan Sterler of Sheldon has been chosen to wrestle for Team Iowa at the AAU Elementary School Duals in Kingsport, Tennessee April 13th through the 15th.

Ryan earned 2nd place in the 125-pound division during the 2012 AAU Kids State Wrestling Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on February 25th and 26th.

Ryan is a member of the Li’l Orab Wrestling Club (aka the ‘Orange Mob’) and is a 4th grader at Sheldon’s East Elementary School.

Ryan is the son of Bill and Renee Sterler of Sheldon. He is the Grandson of Richard and the late Carol Leth of Hartley and Bob and Arlene Sterler of Sheldon.

Dordt Defender Gold Club All Star Basketball Game Rosters Out

The Dordt College Defender Gold Club has announced the participants for this year’s annual Pizza Ranch All-Star Basketball Games hosted at the De Witt Gym on theDordtCollegecampus.

 Twenty girls and twenty boys from the War Eagle, Lakes and Siouxland Conferences comprise the four teams competing on Saturday, March 17th.  The girls’ game will start at 5:30with the boys’ game to get underway at about 7:15.  

Girl’s particants:

Erica Dreckman-Marcus Meriden Cleghorn

Jalyn Doeden-MarcusMeridenCleghorn

Kayla Foresman-Marcus Meriden Cleghorn

Whitney Vander Maten-BoydenHull

Kassidy Van Voorst-BoydenHull

Paige Naig-Emmetsburg

Steph Rohe-Gehlen

Amber Timmins-Gehlen

Dana Weerheim-West Sioux

Sarah Kruse-George Little Rock

Casie Rehder-South O’Brien

Alyssa Hibbing-Sibley Ocheyedan

Ashley Mahrt-Spencer


Karissa De Jong-Unity

JenniferJohnson-Central Lyon


Monica Harvey-Akron Westfield

Crystal Rodger-Sheldon


Boys’ Participants

Ryan Kliegl-Emmetsburg

Austin Homan-Le Mars

Jordan Eisma-Le Mars


Adam Paulsen-South O’Brien

Blake Zomermaand-Unity

Ross Groeneweg-Unity

Alex Hansen-RemsenUnion

Zach Specht-Marcus Meriden Cleghorn

JD Boer-Western

Brock Babcock-Hinton



Caleb De Haan-MOC Floyd Valley


Bryce Moss-BoydenHull

Taylor Francis-Boyden Hull

Eric Schilling-George Little Rock

Matt Queck-Hartley Melvin Sanborn

RossAckerman-Central Lyon

Northwestern Women’s Basketball Team Advances to Championship Game

Northwestern is heading to the national championship game after they defeated #12 Briar Cliff 79-67 in the semifinals of the NAIA Division II women’s basketball national championship. The Red Raiders advance to their sixth title game where they are 4-1 all-time (won it in 2001, 2008, 2010 and 2011; runner-up in 2000).

The Red Raiders led 38-34 after a back and forth first half that had four ties and eight lead changes. Northwestern totaled 11 offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

Briar Cliff scored the first basket of the second half and eventually grabbed the lead after back-to-back jumpers by Christa Stewart at the 15:37 mark. Kendra De Jong scored off a put-back to tie the game at 46 but Kylie Dilla knocked down a three-pointer to give BCU a 49-46 lead.

Two Mel Babcock free throws started what would be a decisive 17-0 Northwestern run that lasted over seven minutes and opened up the largest lead of the game, 63-49, with seven minutes to go. Five different NWC players scored during the run.

A Stewart jumper and another three-pointer by Dilla made it a nine-point game but Kuhlmann put in a three-pointer and two Mackenzie Small free throws pushed the lead back to 13 (70-57). Mattie Murren converted a three-point play to cut it to 12 one last time but Kuhlmann and the Red Raiders would not be denied their third straight trip to the championship game.

Northwestern shot 37% for the game but held a decisive 52-39 advantage on the boards, including 17 on the offensive glass. Kendra DeJong recorded her fourth straight double-double at the tournament with a game-high 22 points and 14 rebounds. Kami Kuhlmann netted 21 points and became the sixth Red Raider women’s player to score 2,000 points in a career. The senior also dished out three assists and totaled a career-high six steals. Samantha Kleinsasser came off the bench to score 11 points and pull down five rebounds.

Kelsey Evans scored all 15 of her points in the first half and shared team-high honors with Kylie Dilla and Mattie Murren. Dilla scored 12 of her points from beyond the arc, going 4-for-11 from long range. The Chargers shot 35% for the game and 34% from the three-point line but committed 25 turnovers. The Chargers close the season with a 25-10 record.

Northwestern will play College of the Ozarks (Mo.)  in the championship game at 8:00pm.

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