It is a streak a team does not want to own, but the Yuma High School girls basketball team somehow has to find a way to put an end to it.
“(We) just need to keep betting better as individuals,” coach Jeremy Robinson said. “Each individual has to win their battle. That hasn’t happened consistently.”
The Outlaws have dropped six straight to fall to 9-7 overall and to No. 7 in the Class 3A CHSAA Selection & Seeding Index after being as high as No. 2.
Their losses have come against undefeated Sidney, Nebraska, undefeated and 3A No. 1 Peyton, 13-4 and 3A No. 5 Strasburg, and the two that particularly hurt, to Wray and Wiggins in which they could not hold on to fourth-quarter leads. Then came Thursday night’s home loss to 2A No. 2 Sedgwick County in which they led by five in the fourth before losing 40-34.
“We have played an incredibly competitive schedule and we have been right there,” Robinson said. “We just can’t win at the moment.”
It does not get any easier as they host undefeated 2A No. 1 Merino on Friday. Yuma then travels to a tough Caliche team on Tuesday to close out Lower Platte play, its last season in the league as Yuma moves to the Patriot League next season.
The Outlaws found themselves playing catch-up for most of last Thursday’s game against Wiggins. They fell behind 5-0, took a lead, then fell behind 16-12. They trailed all of the second quarter but were able to tie it at 22 by halftime.
Wiggins then started the third on an 8-0 run. However, the Outlaws answered with a 15-2 run for a 37-32 lead, but Wiggins cut it to 37-36 heading into the fourth. Yuma led by two when the Tigers scored nine straight for a 45-38 lead, dooming the Outlaws to a 47-41 loss.
Yuma made only two of 14 3-pointers, but Wiggins made just three of 13. Jade Lungwitz had 15 points and two rebounds, Alina Moran seven points and four rebounds, Carolina Ross five points, Ashley Ibanez three points and two assists, Bailey Nighswonger three points and six rebounds, Emma Rayl two points, four rebounds and four assists, and Jailyn Mekelburg two points.
The Outlaws ran into a very good Strasburg team Saturday. They didn’t help themselves with multiple turnovers and missing free throws as they fell behind 11-2. Somehow, though, they kept sticking around and actually got to within 16-15 in the second, and trailed just 21-17 at halftime.
However, they once again had a slow start to the third quarter as Strasburg opened with an 11-0 run, and eventually led by as much as 17, 37-20.
Again, though, the Outlaws methodically worked its way back into the game. They cut the margin to 10 by the end of the third, then opened the fourth with their own 11-0 run to take a 46-45 lead. They could not maintain it, though, as they were outscored 9-2 the rest of the way to suffer a 54-48 loss.
“…I want to go in and be mad at the end of games,” Robinson said. “That’s not going to help because they fight their tails off not to lose. I can’t be mad at them for that. We are just struggling to win.”
Neither team show well, but Strasburg took 29 more shots thanks to 18 offensive rebounds, though Yuma actually held a 41-40 edge on the boards. Yuma committed 27 turnovers. The Outlaws did warm up at the free throw line, making 18 of 29, including nine of 10 by Moran.
In fact, Moran finished with nine points and seven rebounds, Lungwitz eight points and two rebounds, Ross seven points and two steals, Ibanez six points and three rebounds, Berkley Nighswonger six points and three rebounds, Taryn Sheffield five points and six rebounds, Rayl four points, three rebounds and three assists, Bailey Nighswonger three points and six rebounds, Mekelburg four rebounds, and Aubrey Black two assists.