The Weatherford College women’s basketball team debuted at number five in the Top 20 National Poll released Thursday by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Bob McKinley’s Lady Coyotes finished last year at number 13 in the final poll after advancing to the semifinals of the Region 5 Tournament.
“When the players found out about the ranking, the excitement level was pretty high ... until I told them it didn’t mean anything,” McKinley laughed. “They understand that it’s where we are at the end of the season that matters, but the recognition is nice.”
WC is returning its top scorer from last season, JohVonna Darrington, who averaged 18.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Six-foot-1-inch post Cleyder Blanco is also back, after averaging 15 points during the season and racking up 27 points in WC’s final playoff game.
The Lady Coyotes have five games scheduled against current members of the Top 20. Tyler (ranked 15th) will host WC on Nov. 9 in the Tyler Classic. Defending national champion Trinity Valley (ranked fourth) will host WC on Nov. 21 and travel to Weatherford on Dec. 1. Midland (ranked number 20) will come to Weatherford Dec. 4 and host WC Jan. 3. The Lady Coyotes are the only North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference team currently in the Top 20.
WC begins the 2012-13 season Saturday, Nov. 3 against the East Texas Flight. The Lady Coyotes will tip-off at 2 p.m. and the Coyotes begin at 4 p.m.