Next step for YHS boys: Win district

Yuma High School’s boys basketball team already has a regional berth in hand, heading into this week’s district tournament.
However, the Indians want more than just a regional berth — they want to be one of the eight 2A teams hosting one next weekend.

“Districts looks to be a great tournament,” coach Dave Sheffield said. “It has been a competitive year in the league, and there is a possibility of various teams getting wins and advancing.”
The classification’s eight district winners will get to host four-team regional tournaments next week, something the Indians have not done since 2019.
Yuma went 18-1 in the regular season, and won another Lower Platte Activities Association regular-season title.
The Indians are the top seed in the Class 2A District 2 Tournament, receiving a bye into Friday’s semifinals, where they will play at 5:30 p.m. against fourth-seed Holyoke, which beat fifth-seed Akron this past Tuesday. On the other side of the bracket, second-seed Wray plays sixth-seed Sedgwick County, which upset third-seed Wiggins, 43-35, Tuesday. Wray cruised past seventh-seed Burlington, 68-24.
Yuma is No. 1 in the 2A Rating Percentage Index, and ranked No. 1 in the final Top 10 coaches poll.
The top three teams in district automatically qualify for regional. There are some at-large regional berths that will be determined by RPI.
So Yuma is in no matter what happens Friday and Saturday at the NJC Bank of Colorado Events Center in Sterling.
However, a district title is in sight for the Indians, though it will require two strong efforts this weekend. Holyoke lost just 41-39 at home to Yuma a couple of weeks ago.
“With our RPI, we have already secured a regional spot,” Sheffield said, “but with the district champion getting to host regionals, winning districts is highly important.”
Remaining on the other side of the bracket are second-seed Wray, which beat Burlington this past Tuesday, and third-seed Wiggins, which knocked off sixth-seed Sedgwick County. Those two will play in the 8:30 p.m. semifinal.
On Saturday, the third-place game is at 5:30 p.m., and the championship at 8:30.
Yuma’s last game was last Tuesday, February 15, when they closed out the regular season with an ??-?? romp over Sedgwick County. It is a long break between games, but Sheffield said “This will be a great chance to look at things we need to tweak going into the postseason.”
The Yuma boys have won 38 straight league games over the last five season. The program’s last league loss was an overtime setback at Akron on February 16, 2017.
Yuma now has won four of the past five LPAA regular season titles. The Indians went 6-0 in league play last season, but did not get to play Wiggins and Wray at the end of the regular season due to a COVID-19 quarantine.
“It has been a great run in the LPAA over the last five years,” Sheffield said. “The first season goal of every season is to win conference, and these teams have had a great run.”
Yuma featured an all-senior starting lineup in its last regular-season home game, against Sedgwick County. The Indians never missed a beat, and everyone in the lineup eventually contributed as the Indians cruised to the big win.
Yuma ran out to a 27-9 lead in the first quarter, and kept it going on its way to an 87-36 victory.

It featured a thunderous dunk by Clay Robinson, who followed off a missed layup, that definitely got the crowd fired up. Andre Baucke’s “Euro-step” left-handed layup also was a sweet moment for a senior.
Robinson finished with 16 points, Jaxson Lungwitz got to the rim for 12 points, Beau Tate made two 3-pointers while scoring 11 points, Baucke finished with 8 points, and Rayl and Javier Gamboa each had four. (Full stats were not available.) Junior Jesus Ross scored 10 points, junior Forest Rutledge six, freshman Silas Baucke five, junior Cesar Varela four, sophomore Angel Escobar four, junior Jonathan Carrillo two, and junior Daman Thornton one.