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Lady Coyotes wrap up a Successful Season

Bob McKinley doesn’t like to take much time off during a basketball season, and the longer a season can last the better for the legendary Weatherford College Lady Coyotes coach.

So, after back-to-back seasons of not making the postseason, he was more than happy to have his team competing again this season in the Region V Tournament.

“We kind of expected to be there, but it’s good to get back,” McKinley said. “It’s something the people we recruit expect.”

And so does McKinley, with good cause. After all, you don’t reach 910 victories without making plenty of appearances in the postseason.

This season the Lady Coyotes finished 20-9 overall and earned a share of the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (NTJCAC), the 15th in school history and 13th with McKinley at the helm. It’s also the seventh in 12 seasons.

Once in the Region V Tournament at Wolfforth Frenship High School, the Lady Coyotes began with a 73-60 victory against Frank Phillips. Their season ended, however, when their bid to upset top-seeded New Mexico Junior College (30-3) resulted in a final score of 81-78 in a game WC led in the final few minutes.

McKinley was named the conference’s Co-Coach of the Year, the 12th time he’s won the honor in 41 seasons at WC. Sophomore Masha Vasilevko was named the league’s Most Valuable Player.

Vasilevko, a 6-1 forward/post, led the NTNCAC in scoring with an 18.2 average. She also led the league in 3-point percentage at 44.0, tied for fifth in rebounding (6.4) and was second in free throw percentage (88.5) and blocks (1.4).

Five other Lady Coyotes were named all-conference by the league’s coaches, including first-team 6-1 sophomore guard/forward Tahnia McDaniel, who averaged 11.9 points, five rebounds and 87.4 percent at free throw line (third in conference).

Honorable mentions went to sophomore forward/post Eva Lewis (15.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, but not enough playing time to qualify among league leaders), who joined the team in January; sophomore guard Reyna Ammons (52.3 percent field goals, third in conference; 3.5 assists, tied for sixth in conference; 1.9 steals); sophomore guard Destiney Winkfield (4.0 assists, fourth in conference; 1.5 steals); and sophomore forward/post Dovile Strimaityte.

McKinley said returning to the regional tournament also meant additional exposure for his players looking to move on to bigger programs.

“There’s a lot of coaches out there,” he said.

“It’s been really successful. Our goal was to win the conference and get in the regional tournament,” McKinley said.

And though the team will lose all five starters next year, McKinley is pleased with the play from his bench and is optimistic about next season. Among the returners are freshman guard Grace Daniels (50.3 field goal percentage, tied for fifth in conference) and freshman point guard Kayla Hunter (3.2 assists, 1.1 steals).

Among the highlights of the season was McKinley’s 900th career victory. It came in a 68-60 victory at Hill College on Jan. 20.

In typical McKinley fashion, when asked if he would stick around for victory around No. 1,000, he responded with a laugh, “Let’s see how this next season goes, but I don’t know what else I’d do.”

Lady Coyotes Recap

  • Record: 20-9 overall, 11-3 in North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (tied for first)
  • Home: 10-3
  • Road/neutral: 10-6
  • Overtime: 1-1
  • Five points or less: 0-3
  • Over 100 points scored: 6-0
  • Largest win: 109-38 over Mountain View College on Nov. 29
  • Longest win streak: 6
  • Longest loss streak: 2
  • Offense: 80.6 points per game
  • Defense: 62.9 PPG
  • Rebounds: 36.9
  • Assists: 18.3
  • Steals: 8.9
  • Field goal percentage: 46.4
  • 3-point percentage: 33.1
  • Free throw percentage: 71.1

Individual Leaders

  • Scoring: Masha Vasilevko, soph., 18.2 (first in conference); Eva Lewis, soph., 15.0; Tahnia McDaniel, soph., 11.9
  • Rebounds: Lewis, 8.9 (not enough playing time to qualify among league leaders); Vasilevko, 6.4 (tied for fifth in conference); McDaniel, 5.0
  • Assists: Destiney Winkfield, soph., 4.0 (fourth in conference); Reyna Ammons, soph., 3.5 (tied for sixth in conference); Kayla Hunter, fr., 3.2
  • Steals: Ammons, 1.9; Winkfield, 1.5; Hunter, 1.1; Grace Daniels, fr., 1.1
  • Field goal percentage: Ammons, 52.3 (third in conference); Daniels, 50.3 (fifth in conference); Vasilevko, 49.1
  • 3-point percentage: Vasilevko, 44.0 (first in conference); Winkfield, 33.3; McDaniel, 33.3
  • Free throw percentage: Vasilevko, 88.5 (second in conference); McDaniel, 87.4 (third in conference); Dovile Strimaityte, soph., 77.3
  • Blocks: Vasilevko, 1.4 (tied for second in conference); Lewis, 1.4; Ammons, 0.6

by Rick Mauch