After four years Denair High head coach RJ Henderson and assistant Garett Elliott have never started off league play 1-0. That is until now.
Tuesday night marked the start of the Southern Athletic League play for the Coyotes, who managed to top Waterford at home after an off start, 69-43.
“It went good for us, not so good for Waterford especially in the second half,” said Elliott. “We got them good in the second.”
Waterford jumped out to a 7-0 start after winning the tip-off and scoring after Denair committed turnovers in the opening three minutes.
Then Denair countered the quick start from Waterford with a 12-0 run and from there on, Denair never trailed again for the remainder of the game.
“Just a terrible start from us and it didn’t help that Waterford was rebounding well on the offensive end,” said Elliott. “Once we settled in and found the right five we began to play solid defense and hit shots.”
The score was 15-15 after the first before Denair outscored Waterford 20-10 in the second to go up by 10 at the half.
Denair outscored Waterford 24-6 in the third quarter, led by Isaac Starks and his game-high 25 points.
Starks also finished with nine rebounds, five steals, and four assists. Dylan Mann had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, adding three assists and three steals.
“Even after Isaac came out he still had an amazing stat line,” said Elliott. “We had built such a strong lead that we decided to get everyone in.”
Denair led by as many as 28 points in the third and midway, Starks was pulled from the game.
All 14 of the players on the roster played on Tuesday night and 10 of them scored.
Up 59-31 by the start of the fourth, Denair’s defense was able to contain Waterford for the remainder of the game to secure the team’s first league win of the year.
“Everybody contributed, it was a good game,” said Elliott. “It’s also a huge confidence booster having played only once in the last two weeks, so it’s good for us but now we are meeting Mariposa and they are already so tough to beat. It will be a big challenge for us… big test.”
Denair will travel to Mariposa to take on the Grizzlies at 7 p.m. Friday.