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Coyotes narrowly miss Playoffs

 
For a second straight season, a few points separated the Weatherford College Coyotes from a berth in the NJCAA Region V Basketball Tournament.

“If one or two games went different, we were in,” head coach Mark Osina said. “The games we lost were in spurts, and this is a conference of spurts.”

The Coyotes finished 17-13 overall and 5-7 in the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference. They were two games out of the fourth and final playoff berth, but a break or two and they would have found themselves in the postseason.

“Any tiebreaker and we’d have been in good shape,” Osina said.

In fact, the Coyotes defeated regular-season conference runner-up Collin County twice, 89-80 at home and 102-101 on the road, the Coyotes’ only overtime game of the season.

Among the highlights to the season was Osina’s 400th career coaching victory. It was the home win over Collin on Jan. 17. He ended the season with 403 career wins.

“That was nice. It was a special night,” Osina said.

The Coyotes will graduate all five starters from this season. However, Osina is excited about several returning players.

“There are two or three coming back that I really like,” Osina said. “Ke’Lyn (Adams, 6-4 guard/forward) and Ansu (Sesay, 6-4 forward/post) are two really solid ones that could do a lot for us.”

Sophomore Zach Naylor, a 6-7 guard/forward, has signed a letter-of-intent to play for the University of Mississippi next season. He was second in the conference in scoring (18.2 points per game), third in rebounding (9.6), third in free throw percentage (82.5) and fifth in steals (1.6). He was also named first-team All-North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference.

Others among the conference leaders were 5-9 sophomore guard Tyrik Armstrong (16.0 points, fifth; 5.4 assists, second; 2.3 steals, third; second-team all-conference), 6-8 sophomore post Josh Ihek (6.4 rebounds, tied for ninth; 52.7 field goal percentage, ninth; second-team all-conference), 5-10 sophomore guard Ken Busby (4.2 assists, fourth; 1.5 steals, tied for seventh); and Adams (53.3 field goal percentage, sixth in conference).

“We had some talent this season, but you also need some breaks,” Osina said. “Especially in a conference as good as this one.”
Six of the seven teams in the NTJCAC finished with winning records.

The Coyotes began the season with a 1-6 record before winning 11 straight. They were 12-6 at home and 5-7 on the road.
The Coyotes were among the fastest-paced teams in the up-tempo conference. They averaged 73.8 field goal attempts per game, seventh in the nation.

Weatherford College Coyotes 2017-18 recap

  • Overall record: 17-13
  • Conference record: 5-7, sixth place
  • Home record: 12-6, 3-3 in conference
  • Road record: 5-7, 2-4 in conference
  • Overtime record: 1-0
  • Record in games decided by five points or less: 1-4, 0-2 in conference
  • Record in games scoring over 100 points: 6-0, 2-0 in conference.
  • Longest win streak: 11 games
  • Longest losing streak: 4 games
  • Points per game: 88.4
  • Points surrendered per game: 72.7
  • Rebounds per game: 35.4
  • Assists per game: 17.0
  • Steals per game: 8.9
  • Field goal percentage: 43.9
  • 3-point percentage: 33.9
  • Free throw percentage: 70.6

Individual Leaders

  • Scoring: Zach Naylor, soph., 18.2 (second in conference); Tyrik Armstrong, soph., 16.0 (fifth in conference); Chance Edwards, soph., 12.9
  • Rebounds: Naylor, 9.6 (third in conference); Josh Ihek, soph., 6.4 (tied for ninth in conference); Ke’Lyn Adams, fr., 3.7
  • Field goal percentage: Adams, 53.3 (sixth in conference); Ihek, 52.7 (ninth in conference); Naylor, 50.4
  • 3-point field goal percentage: Armstrong, 37.4; Edwards, 35.5; Ken Busby, soph., 33.3
  • Free throw percentage: Naylor, 82.5 (third in conference); Armstrong, 81.2; Edwards, 77.3
  • Assists: Armstrong, 5.4 (second in conference); Busby, 4.2 (fourth in conference); Naylor, 3.1
  • Steals: Armstrong, 2.3 (third in conference); Naylor, 1.6 (fifth in conference); Busby, 1.7 (tied for seventh in conference)

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by Rick Mauch