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Coyotes primed for better year
Denair basketball 2
Denair High senior Ryan Galhano (left) tries to go under Hilmars Kole Gaglio (right) during the third quarter of Tuesdays matchup at Denair. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Things are finally shaping up for Denair High boys basketball coach RJ Henderson, with the help of assistant head coach Garett Elliott and the commitment from this year’s team.

The results of an extensive off-season is the best start for the program since Henderson took over three years ago.

“We are looking to at least get in the top three of the Southern League and we feel like we can do that. We got some good seniors and size,” said Elliott. “We have had the first few games where we have made a couple deep shots and have made about 50 percent or so from the three-point line.”

Things are already shaping up for the Coyotes who have five seniors, four juniors and two underclassmen as a part of this year’s team.

Freshman Dylan Mann, who is already 6-foot-2, is looking like a future rebounding star for the Coyotes if his progression continues at the pace he is on while six-foot sophomore Robert Henderson shows some athletic ability among his peers.

“We brought up Dylan [Mann], who has been rebounding well,” Elliott said. “Fundamentally we are playing better. We are not turning the ball over as much. We are boxing out better and we are making better passes and running the core better including running the plays better. We are not looking robotic and we are looser and running more free and hitting outside shots as well.”

The outside shooters for this year’s team, Vince Fuentes and Isaac Starks, have added a presence on the outside for this team.

“Vincent and Isaac have been hitting a lot of threes for us early on and consistently and that is helping us early on since we didn’t have a lot of that last year,” said Elliott.

To take on a tough SAL this will be needed, among many other assets, but coach Elliott is more than confident that this is the year for Denair basketball.

“I think we can hang with the Southern League teams and finish atop to make the playoffs,” Elliott said. “We had a good core group in the weight room all summer. We did our summer league and had a good group there with some younger guys as well. Now that coach Henderson has been there for three years, he has been able to establish a little more of a program and get the guys excited to be there.”

Denair will compete in the Delhi tournament this weekend, beginning at a time to be announced on Thursday.