With each college basketball season Conrad Krutwig has played, his game has moved farther away from the basket.
As a senior this season at NCAA Division II Wisconsin-Parkside, Krutwig has contributed greatly from the perimeter for a team that won the Great Lakes Valley Conference’s East Division regular-season title.
“In high school (at Jacobs), it was pound it inside, pound it inside,” said the 6-foot-6 Krutwig, who spent his first two college seasons at D-I South Dakota. “In Division I, you have to find ways to score. So, I worked a lot on my mid-range game.”
After last season, Parkside coach Luke Reigel encouraged Krutwig to take his game
beyond the 3-point line, where he made only seven shots as a junior.
“Three times a week (in the offseason), I was taking 300 to 500 shots,”Krutwig said. “That’s how good shooters get better.”
This season, Krutwig is the top 3-point shooter for a team that is experiencing a major turnaround after an 8-18 season a year ago that included a 1-17 GLVC record.
This season, the Rangers (20-7) went 14-4 in regular-season conference play, winning seven games against ranked teams. Parkside won its 20th game of the season Thursday night, a 65-56 victory against Kentucky Wesleyan in the GLVC tournament quarterfinals.
“It’s been great beating nationally ranked teams and being national ranked,” said Krutwig, whose team was ranked 17th this week by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. “We won one conference game last year. Once we got a couple of wins (this season), we started to believe in each other.”
Krutwig ranks second on the team in scoring (11.5 points a game) and rebounding (5.6). On Thursday, he hit three 3-pointers among his 12 points. He also added seven rebounds in 24 minutes.
Krutwig’s 43 threes are a team high for the second-seeded Rangers, who will play in the GLVC semifinals at 2:30 p.m. today against either Lewis or Southern Indiana.
“It’s been a lot of fun this season,” said Krutwig, who has started 52 games over the past two seasons. “I’m just being more aggressive. I’m looking for my shot a little more. Any time the opportunity is there, it’s going up.”
Whiting earns Iowa honor: After a record-setting season for D-III University of Dubuque’s women’s basketball team, Woodstock graduate Mollie Whiting was named first-team All-Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The honor was the fourth consecutive season in which Whiting made an all-conference team and her second consecutive year on the first team.
This season, Whiting led the conference in scoring (23.8 points a game) and scored at least 20 points a game in Dubuque’s final 18 games of the season.
While leading her team to the IIAC championship game, Whiting set school records for points in a career (1,737) and a season (667) and career made field goals (669).
Able Ace Kaczmarski: Prairie Ridge grad Kevin Kaczmarski is batting a team-high .368 this season for D-I Evansville’s baseball team.
Kaczmarski, a sophomore outfielder, also leads the Aces (3-7) with a .553 slugging percentage, 14 hits, five doubles and three stolen bases. On Sunday, Kaczmarski was 3 for 4 with two RBIs in a 13-1 win against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He ranks sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference in stolen bases and seventh in total bases (21) this season.
Beck all-conference: D-III Lake Forest College senior men’s basketball guard Jeff Beck was named Feb. 27 to the All-Midwest Conference first team.
A Dundee-Crown grad, Beck led the conference in minutes played (34.3), ranked third in scoring (18.1 points a game), and seventh in assists (3.6) and 3-point field-goal percentage (45.3). He also was ninth in steals (1.4).
Beck started 92 games in his career and surpassed the 1,000-point plateau this season for the Foresters (7-16). With 1,116 career points, Beck ranks 13th in the program’s history.
Ott sets record: Marian Central grad Jackie Ott of St. Xavier set a school record and finished 10th in the 1,000-meter event March 2 at the NAIA indoor national preliminaries in Geneva, Ohio.
Ott ran a school-best time of 3:00.7 seconds in the event, narrowly missing the finals.
Ott also ran the 800 leg on SXU’s distance medley relay team, which posted a school-record time of 12:20.76 to finish third in its heat and 10th overall in the prelims.
• Barry Bottino writes a weekly column and a blog about local college athletes for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at BarryOnCampus@hotmail.com, check out his On Campus blog at McHenryCountySports.com and follow him@BarryOnCampus on Twitter.