Winning a conference title, or even reaching the postseason, are never easy tasks.
However, this basketball season in the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference doing either could be a little tougher.
Entering the holiday break, not a single team among seven men’s programs had a losing overall record. Only one, Southwestern Christian, was at .500. Meanwhile, on the women's side, five of the eight teams have winning records and two others are within a couple games of .500.
"And Southwest is pretty good," said Weatherford College Coyotes coach Mark Osina. "You used to be able to pick out certain games and figure those were wins, but not this year."
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Among the men, at press time McLennan led with a perfect 15-0 record. Temple and Ranger were 11-1 and 11-2, respectively, while Hill was 12-3.
The Coyotes were 10-5 and Collin County 10-4.
Among the women, Hill had the top mark at 9-3, followed by Weatherford College's Lady Coyotes at 8-3. Collin County was 8-4, Temple 7-5, Ranger 7-7, Cisco 5-7, McLennan 5-7, and Southwestern Christian 0-5.
The Ranger men are on probation from the National Junior College Athletic Association and are ineligible for the conference championship. Osina said that doesn't keep them from being a dangerous spoiler.
"Everybody has a chance to reach the playoffs, except Ranger, and they could sure ruin it for some others," Osina said.
Lady Coyotes coach/AD Bob McKinley said the women’s side is good top to bottom.
"It's probably the most balanced it's been in a long time," McKinley said.
Conference play begins January 14 at home versus Southwestern Christian.
Both the Coyotes and Lady Coyotes are scoring a lot. The WC women are outscoring their opponents by an average of 82-54 and the men are winning by an average of 91-85.
"We just need to stop other teams from scoring," Osina said with a chuckle.
"It's going to take a lot of points to win games in this league. Temple, Hill, they can all score. Collin may be a little more conservative, but they can score too."
The Coyotes have scored 120, 111 and 101 points in victories this season. They scored 99 in a game they lost by 15 points.
The Lady Coyotes have scored as many as 120 points in one win, 105 in another, and 100 in another. They have won by 88, 85 and 75 points.
And McKinley said they can't let up, particularly given the history of success the Lady Coyotes have had over the years.
"I think we're going to have to step it up more," he said. "Those other teams are playing great.
"And every time we play, teams are thinking if they beat Weatherford it makes their day."