Special to the Democrat
The magical basketball season of a year ago could not be recaptured by the Weatherford College Lady Coyotes.
Still, Coach Bob McKinley said it was a pretty darned good year.
“I guess unless you win it all you never get as far as you want, but we still had a good year,” said McKinley.
The Lady Coyotes advanced to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in 2012-13. With numerous players back from that team, including a pair of All-Americans in forward/post Itiana Taylor and guard Bre Brooks, hopes were high for a return.
The Lady Coyotes (21-4 overall) repeated as North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference champions with a 13-1 league mark.
After opening the Region V Tournament with a 97-77 win over Midland, they were upset in the second round by McLennan, 113-108.
“We were the best team at the regional tournament, but we caught McLennan when they were hot and they made about 60 percent of their 3s,” said McKinley. “There’s not much you can do about that when you’re guarding them all over and they still make those shots.”
Capping their season, McKinley was named the conference Coach of the Year for a third straight season. Brooks was named the conference Player of the Year for a second straight year, and Taylor was chosen first-team all-conference for a second consecutive time.
Taylor is among the finalists for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Junior/Community College Player of the Year Award to be announced on April 7.
Taylor and Brooks were also named All-Americans by the WBCA this season. Taylor (21.7) and Brooks (18.7) finished 1-2 in scoring in the conference. Taylor led in rebounds (13.1).
In fact, WC had the top three rebounders in the league, with sophomore post Toma Zaleckaite second (10.7) and freshman forward Zippy Khasoa third (8.7).
Taylor’s 19 double-doubles were 10 more than anyone else in the conference. Brooks led in assists, averaging seven per game.
Freshman guard/forward Ciara Johnson was second in the conference in field goal percentage (53.5).
The Lady Coyotes will lose six sophomores, including Taylor, who has signed to play for NCAA Division I East Carolina.
WC had four freshmen on the roster this season. Among those, Johnson was an honorable mention All-Conference honoree.
“If we get the ones we hope we get (recruits), plus we’re looking at a couple of key transfers, we’ll be fine,” said McKinley.
Also named All-Conference were sophomore guard Jacqueline Chandler and Zaleckaite.
Weatherford College Lady Coyotes recap
Conference: 13-1, champions
Region V: Advanced to second round
Scoring: Itiana Taylor, soph., 21.1, first in conference; Bre Brooks, soph., 18.7, second in conference.
Rebounds: Taylor, 13.1, first in conference; Toma Zaleckaite, soph., 10.7, second in conference; Zippy Khasoa, fr., 8.7, third in conference; Ciara Johnson, fr., 7.4, seventh in conference.
Assists: Brooks, 7.0, first in conference; Jacqueline Chandler, soph., 6.6, second in conference; Taylor, 3.1, ninth in conference.
Steals: Chandler, 2.7, fourth in conference; Taylor, 2.6, fifth in conference; Brooks, 2.4, seventh in conference; Johnson, 2.1, 10th in conference.
Blocks: Zaleckaite, 1.2, third in conference; Johnson, 1.0, fifth in conference; Khasoa, .09, seventh in conference; Taylor, 0.8, ninth in conference.
Double-doubles: Taylor, 19, first in conference; Zaleckaite, 7, tied for third in conference; Khasoa, 7, tied for third in conference; Johnson, 4, tied for sixth in conference; Brooks, 4, tied for sixth in conference.
Field goal percentage: Johnson, 53.5, second in conference; Khasoa, 49.6, tied for fourth in conference; Taylor, 43.3, 10th in conference.
3-point field goals: Chandler, 48, tied for fifth in conference.
3-point percentage: Chandler, 34.5, ninth in conference.
Free throw percentage: Brooks, 72.3, seventh.
Scoring: 86.0, first in conference.
Scoring defense: 70.7, sixth in conference.
Free throw percentage: 64.0, fourth in conference.
3-point percentage: 28.0, fifth in conference.
3-point defensive percentage: 29.4, fourth in conference.
Field goal percentage: 42.5, second in conference.
Field goal defensive percentage: 35.1, third in conference.
Rebound margin: 50.8-15.6, first in conference.
Offensive rebounds per game: 17.9, first in conference.
Assists per game: 23.4, first in conference.
Steals per game: 12.5, second in conference.
Blocks per game: 4.5, first in conference.