By RICK MAUCH — Special Contributor
The Weatherford College Lady Coyote basketball team is hoping to use its pre-conference success as momentum to a league championship.
The WC men’s team is hoping lessons learned from a hard run through pre-conference can be used to find success in league play.
Either way, the games that count the most are the ones played for the remainder of this 2012-13 season.
“The point we try to make is what you do early doesn’t count unless you do it in conference also,” said Coach Bob McKinley, referencing the Lady Coyotes. “But I feel confident we can keep this up in conference play.”
The Lady Coyotes entered the season expecting to challenge for the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (NTJCAC) and Region V championship in Lubbock, Mar. 7-10. Nothing has changed.
In fact, they might be even stronger now that the second half of the season is under way, McKinley said.
McKinley is hoping six-foot freshman forward/post Itiana Taylor (ankle) and sophomore guard Hailey Owens (foot ligament) will return from injury. Also, sophomore guard Waleska Perez, a transfer from New Mexico Junior College, will be eligible to play, he said.
“I.T. is one of the toughest players in our region. She could be our leading rebounder,” said McKinley. “Perez gives us a six-foot guard.”
None of the three played in a loss at Western Texas, a game in which the Lady Coyotes had only seven players.
“If we’re at full-strength, or even close, we’re a heck of a team,” said McKinley.
The Lady Coyotes have been ranked as high as the top five in the NJCAA this season. They returned from the holiday break ranked 16th nationally. McKinley believes their biggest challenge will come from Collin College, which entered the second half of the season No. 15.