Okanagan College men’s guard Matt Lafontaine (left) and Danielle Ruocco of the Coyotes’ women’s team both had big games for their respective teams on opening weekend of the 2017-18 season. -Image: Ken Reid/Greystoke Photography

Coyotes’ launch inaugural hoops season

Okanagan College basketball programs host Ambrose in first ever exhibition games.

Okanagan College’s basketball programs are off and running as the Coyotes played their inaugural games in front of large, enthusiastic crowds last weekend at Immaculata Regional High School.

The OC men’s and women’s teams each played host to Calgary’s Ambrose University Lions in a pair of exhibition games.

In the opening game Friday night, the Lions pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat the OC women 83-57.

Danielle Ruocco led the way as OC’s player of the game with 13 points, while Navneet Mann and Megan Admussen-Blair chipped in with 10 points each respectively.

In men’s play, a back and forth game saw Ambrose prevail 85-77.

Top scorers for the Coyotes were Curtis Wilson with 16 points and Jesse Vissia with 11, while the player of the game was Jeff Tubbs.

“It was a great evening and an even better crowd,” said Coyotes men’s coach Dino Gini. We would have loved to come up with 2 wins but we played hard and both teams got the opportunity to get a lot of players on the court. We know our identity and where we stand a bit more now. We have a list of things to work on and will take it from here to improve and continue to build our culture.”

After a quick turnaround, the OC women were back on the court Saturday at 11 a.m. and this time emerged with the victory in front of a full house at Immaculata.

The Coyotes came out firing with 34 points in the first quarter and went on to a 92-87 win over the Lions.

The Coyotes had six players in double figures, led by player of the game Ciara Bamford with 24pts. Megan Blair added 20 points in the win.

“Our team shot the ball very well from the three and adjusted to Ambrose’s press after Friday’s game, leading to a lot more transition points for us,” said OC women’s coach Andrew Gini. “We showed some obvious nerves in our first game, but we were really able to adjust on Saturday. I think everyone was more comfortable and played with more confidence and poise. It was really nice to get a win early on in our program.”

In men’s action Saturday, another close game saw another tight victory for Ambrose, 94-86. Curtis Wilson led OC with 25 points, while point guard Matt Lafontaine delilvered 19 points.

“We had a much better performance Saturday,” said Dino Gini. “We played with more urgency, and a better IQ. The most important thing is that we got better and more organized. We now have the opportunity to work on aspects of our game that we saw needed addressing after this weekend.”

This weekend, the OC basketball teams will head to Abbotsford for games against Columbia Bible College.

Just Posted

Heat warning issued for Central, South Okanagan

Environment Canada expects temperatures to exceed 35 degrees Celsius today

Camp Winfield makes dreams come true

Unique experience for Easter Seals campers

This weekend in Kelowna, in your words

We have complied highlights from the weekend and your photos in a community album

Reel Reviews: A cure for anger

We say, “Purge it up, goofballs.”

Kelowna families honour the dead by releasing butterflies

The Nicholson matriarchs release 33 butterflies

Course veterans seize victory in Peach City Classic

The first place titles in this year’s triathlon belonged to returning competitors.

Falcons swept by Pickles, WCL hits all-star break

Kelowna loses three West Coast League games in Portland

Extreme Okanagan weather preparedness in spring

Ensuring family and homes are safe in Vernon

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan imposes ‘project labour agreements’ for public works

BC Wildfire says Kamloops wildfire ‘being held’

Firefighters worked tirelessly this weekend to stop the spread of a wildfire east of Kamloops.

Trump, Putin sit down a bit late for closely watched summit

Trump and Putin arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit.

In TV interview, Trump claims queen called Brexit ‘complex’

Asked the queen’s view on Brexit, Trump said: “She said it’s a very complex problem.”

Exotic corpse flower begins to emit its putrid scent at Vancouver conservatory

A unique and exotic tropical plant, acclaimed for its size and abhorred for its smell, is blooming at a Vancouver conservatory.

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in June were down 10.7 per cent compared with a year ago.

Most Read