Road Warriors returned home Tuesday

The Road Warriors finally returned home Tuesday afternoon, after traveling more than 1,700 miles in one week.
The Yuma High School girls basketball team might have come up a couple of games short of a state championship game appearance — but the Indians, coaches and some hearty fans definitely will have some memories to last a long time.

Yuma finished with a 6-11 record, but it could be the most memorable 6-11 season in history.
The Indians first traveled 1,009 miles last week, spending three days in the mountains from last Tuesday through Friday, picking up a couple of upset wins in the Class 2A playoffs along the way.

Ema Richardson gets up a shot during last Saturday’s game at Platte Valley. (Pioneer Photo)

They hit the road again Sunday afternoon for the long trip to Sanford, where their season finally came to an end with a loss to the third-seed Sanford Indians, returning home Tuesday after spending two nights in Alamosa.
That trip was another 761 miles, for a total of 1,770 miles to compete in this most different of high school basketball playoffs.
Guess that’s what a 22nd seed gets for having the gumption of winning some games, and then pushing the third seed fairly well also.
It all began last Tuesday in Oak Creek. As reported last week, the Indians pulled out an exciting 44-42 win on Ema Richardson’s basket with less than 5 seconds left.
The Indians spent the night in Eagle, then made their way Wednesday to Delta, where they spent Wednesday and Thursday night for Thursday night’s game at Paonia, 70 miles away.
Paonia was the sixth-seed in the 24-team field, and entered the game with a 12-2 record.
Yuma was up to the challenge, though, as the 22nd-seed Indians pulled off the 31-26 upset.
The game was tight through, with Yuma leading 5-4 after the first quarter, 17-16 after two quarters, and 23-22 after three quarters.
The Indians finally got some breathing room in the fourth, pulling away at the free throw line in the final minutes for the five-point win.
Yuma won despite missing all 10 of its 3-point attempts. However, the Indians made 12 of 29 inside the arc, and seven of 11 at the charity stripe. Paonia was even colder, making just nine of 40 shots (23 percent).
Ema Richardson had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Meidi Reyes five points and two assists, Lea Richardson three points, four rebounds and three steals, Elle Roth two points, seven rebounds and three assists,
Lea Richardson and Taylor Law apply defensive pressure, Thursday night against Merino. (Pioneer Photo)
Hailey Eyring two points, Taylor Law two points, Caddis Robinson four rebounds and Emma Rayl two assists.
The victory meant it was the eighth time in the past nine years the Yuma girls reached at least the state quarterfinals.
The Indians hit the road again Sunday afternoon for Alamosa, where they spent the night before heading to Sanford for their Great 8 game.

Sanford had beat 14th-seed Olathe, 52-35, in its Sweet 16 game, and entered Monday’s quarterfinal sporting a 14-1 record.
Yuma’s Indians stuck around as best they could, but Sanford eventually pulled away to a 35-21 win, ending the Tribe’s season.
Sanford led 9-6 after the first quarter, and Yuma stuck around in the early part of the second.
However, a quick three-point barrage by Sanford put Yuma in a 22-8 hole.
That was basically the difference in the game as Yuma kept it fairly even throughout the second half, but never could get anything going offensively. Final stats were not available prior to press time.
Sanford now hosts Limon tonight, March 18, in a 2A semifinal, with the winner advancing to the championship game Saturday morning in Colorado Springs.
The Sanford game was the last for Yuma seniors Ema Richardson and Taylor Law.