“Collin’s going to be good. I saw their one loss they had to Tyler, but they are a very good team,” said McKinley.
But McKinley warned that both Weatherford and Collin could be in for a surprise or two if they only look to each other as a challenge.
“Numbers one through six or even seven in our conference are as good as they’ve ever been,” he said.
The Lady Coyotes entered the second half of the season as the nation’s top scoring team with an average of 96.7. They are fueled by freshman guard Bre Brooks’ 20 points per game, tops in the NTJCAC and second nationally, while sophomore forward/post JohVonna Darrington ranked third nationally and second in the league at 19.6.
Brooks also stood second nationally in assists (8.1) and atop the conference.
A couple of Lady Coyotes entered league play averaging in double figures, sophomore post Cleyder Blanco (12.6 points, 10.4 rebounds) and Darrington (10.1 rebounds).
In fact, five Lady Coyotes came into conference averaging double figures in scoring, including sophomore guard Desiree King (12.8) and sophomore post Alexia Kelly (11.6).
“We’ve got a chance to be really good,” said McKinley.
While the Coyotes have struggled this season and entered league play several games under .500, the team has several reasons to believe they could challenge for a return trip to the Region V Tournament in Lubbock.
Defensively, they ranked at the top of the NTJCAC at the holiday break (60.75 points). And leading scorer, sophomore guard Deon Willis, ranked sixth in the conference (13.5).
Also, 6-8 sophomore forward Kesse Bernard ranked fifth in rebounds (7.6) and third in offensive boards (3.4), while 6-10 sophomore forward Eric Stubbs’ 1.2 blocked shots per game was fourth.
Both teams begin conference play at home against McLennan on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled at 2 p.m. for the women and 4 p.m. for the men, at the Betty Jo Crumm Graber Athletic Center.