An unexpected break this week hopefully will have the Coyotes rested and ready to go because their schedule is full for the next few days. With the Miller-Grove tournament ending early because of the weather conditions and then their Tuesday games cancelled because school was not in session, the Coyotes have not played since in awhile. However, they have six games scheduled between Wednesday and Saturday night where they look to improve on a 5-3 record.
With the break, the Tribune was able to catch up with Coach Nick Sekeres and get up to speed with him on the teams start and what he is seeing from the squad. This is Sekeres’ second season at the helm in Anna.
Tribune: What is your biggest surprise so far this season?
Sekeres: "A pleasant surprise has been our work on the glass. It was a concern going into the year given we only have two players six feet tall on the entire roster. It has been a focus of ours in practice and we have really done a great job out rebounding people with our fundamentals and quickness."
What is your biggest challenge so far this season?
"The lack of size and youth has been a challenge (five freshman and sophomores on a ten person varsity) but we are making up for it with our effort and speed."
Early season standouts?
"Point guard Adriun Harrison has been dynamic on both sides of the floor. He is averaging 12.4 ppg on 48 percent shooting, 8.2 reb, 4.4 assists and 3.2 steals. Keamoni Mattocks has also been a plus averaging 10.6 ppg."
Goals for the rest of the preseason?
"The boys want to play in a tournament championship game in at least one of our two remaining tourneys — North Hopkins this week and Leonard during Christmas break."
Goals for district play?
"District goals = make the playoffs. Our overall competitiveness and mental toughness is much improved since last season and has really been impressive. We are fighting every drill in practice and are starting to have very productive leadership throughout the program. We are much smaller and younger then last year but we are shooting the ball better and are much quicker. Practices have been much more productive recently."
Before the tournament was cancelled, Anna split its first two games on Thursday. It was topped by tourney host Miller Grove and beat Chess.
Miller Grove 51,
A 10 4 7 23 — 44
M 4 17 16 14 — 51
Harrison led the team with 12 points but Miller Grove was able to take control of the game in the middle two quarters. The Coyotes started strong, leading 10-4 at the end of the first but fell 51-44.
Ben Ramos had nine points in the game and Keamoni Mattocks added five.
Miller Grove was rallied in the second quarter, holding Anna to just four points to go ahead 21-14 at halftime. They extended their lead to 16 by the end of the third.
Anna had their best quarter of the game, scoring 23 points, with help from Elijah Smith’s five points, but it was not enough to erase the deficit.
Other Anna scorers included: Brennan White (4), Gage Scribner (3), Chase Henson (2), Jeff Muchai (2) and Alex Scheidt (2).
A 13 12 9 16 — 50
C 7 4 8 20 — 39
The Anna defense was able to help lead them to the win over Chess – holding their opponent to just 11 points in the first half on their way to a 50-39 win.
Mattocks led the team with 18 and Harrison added 12 for the Coyotes. Brennan White chipped in six more to help Anna get the win.
The Coyotes were up 25-11 at the half and had a 15 point advantage going into the final quarter as they sailed to victory.
Other Anna scorers included: Dylan Duncan (4), Jeff Muchai (3), Ben Ramos (3), Chase Henson (2) and Alex Scheidt (2).