Balance, depth keys for Plano West girls

It’s not that Plano West doesn’t have elite talent. The Wolves have a pair of Oklahoma signees in Jacqueline Jeffcoat and Alexann Yancey, but Plano West is at its best when its depth is on display.

Only Jeffcoat has a scoring average in double digits, and she’s barely over the hump at 10.3 points per game. The Wolves, however, have a long bench that regularly contributes, which has West just one win away from clinching the District 8-5A title.

“We usually go about nine or 10 deep,” West coach Don Patterson said. “Our starters have done a great job of getting us off to a good start. The bench comes in and just keeps it going. We can interchange people.”

The season started slow for West (20-10 overall, 7-0 in 8-5A) despite returning five lettermen. The team struggled with consistency and shooting, leading to a see-saw nondistrict schedule.

Patterson felt like his team turned a corner against Plano East on Jan. 22. Both teams were 4-0 in district heading into the game, but West dominated the game en route to a 66-45 win.

“We were sort of out of sync,” Patterson said of the beginning of the season. “We’d play a good game and come back and not play real well. The last two weeks we’ve been playing very well. We’re peaking at the right time. Hopefully it will carry us the rest of district and into the playoffs.”

Jeffcoat and Yancey were at the forefront of West’s turnaround. Jeffcoat struggled to start the year, but found her game at the right time. Yancey, West’s point guard, averages 4 assists per game in the team’s full-court offense.

West plays McKinney Boyd on the road at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.