The Coyotes basketball squads face off against Douglas over the weekend. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

OC Coyotes aim for strong finish to January

The Coyotes visit a tough and tall Douglas College team

The Okanagan Coyotes face a tough match-up with the Douglas Royals this weekend. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have lost to their New Westminster rivals this season.

The women lost a close one at the end of November 67-57. Coach Andrew Gini knows these games will help in the long run.

“We have some first year guards that will get better with the experience. Douglas is a post oriented team, while we are a guard oriented team,” said Andrew Gini. “We’re quicker and faster, and we’ll need to take advantage in transition. We’ll keep working towards getting better.

The Coyotes women’s team sits in fourth in the division with a 5-5 record, and will look to return home next weekend having two wins over a Royals squad that’s tied with them for points. With only eight games left in the season, the Coyotes need as much production from the road games, as they do on home court.

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The men’s squad has a different look since the last time they played the Royals at the end of November. As coach Dino Gini said, they got their butts kicked in a 112-70 loss.

But new addition Christian Williams gives the Coyotes a big body to protect the rim.

“Christian can guard the rim and that brings confidence on both offence and defence,” said Dino Gini. “He’s fitting in on- and-off the court with the guys, and is getting more accustomed to our offence.”

Williams has been solid for the Coyotes since joining in November. The big man is pushing 7-feet tall and has 34 rebounds in just four games and 15 blocks, which is good for second on the entire league.

With a 4-6 record, road games will be a critical part for where the Coyotes finish in the league before playoffs.

“Try and split these weekend games against good teams. We’re a better team than we were before when we last played (Douglas),” said Gini. “My key as a coach is to get the team better and I hope that we can show that on the court.”

The Coyotes return to home court for the next two weekends with key match-ups against Langara and Camosun, two teams that the Coyotes look to surpass during the playoff race.

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