Yuma boys closer to Lower Platte title

The streak is over, but everything still is in front of the Yuma High School boys basketball team.

The Outlaws’ 13-game winning streak came to an end last Saturday with a 68-59 loss at a very good Strasburg team, preceded by a 76-48 home win over Wiggins two nights earlier. However, they rebounded with a methodical win over Sedgwick County at home, Thursday night. They now are 14-2 and remain No. 2 in the Class 3A Selection & Seeding Index as of earlier this week.

Next up is a pair of home game Friday against Merino. They close out Lower Platte play Tuesday at Caliche.

Merino, which beat Yuma last year, is No. 2 in the 2A Index with a 13-2 record, and Caliche was No. 44 with a 4-11 record.

“The next three games are very important with regards to winning the Lower Platte for the last time, as we are going to the Patriot next year,” coach Dave Sheffield said prior to the SedgCo game. “I really like where we are sitting and what we have done this year. We just need to take each game as it comes.

The Outlaws started out a bit slow in the first quarter last Thursday against Wiggins in The Pit. However, they blew it open in the second quarter with 28 points to lead 46-24 at halftime. They cruised from there to the victory as Sheffield emptied the bench.

Yuma shot 49 percent from the floor, including 54.5 percent on 2-pointers and made six of 17 treys. The Outlaws had 30 points off of turnovers while coming up with 19 steals. They also held a 38-23 rebounding advantage.

A total of 10 Outlaws scored, led by Brody Sheffield with 19 point and five assists, Cristian Duarte had 17 points and three steals, Jonathan Thomson 14 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, Edwin Munoz eight points and five steals, Cesar Gamboa four points, six rebounds and three steals, Miles Rutledge three points and two rebounds, Reyli Trejo three points and five rebounds, Noe Quezada three points, Iann Duran three points, and Alex Pensado two points and three assists.

“Our defensive intensity clicked up in the second quarter against Wiggins,” Sheffield said, “which led to a large quarter.”

The Outlaws made the trip to Strasburg on Saturday, where they ran into a rowdy student section and a strong Indians’ team that improved to 16-1 and has moved up to No. 4 in the 3A Index.

Yuma fell behind early, but battled back to be within three points, only to the Indians roll up 21 points in the second for a 37-20 lead.

The Outlaws turned the tide in the third quarter, getting to within 10 points, and cut the deficit as close as seven in the fourth against a bigger and strong-shooting team.

Both teams shot well inside the 2-point area, with Strasburg making 17 of 30 and Yuma 17 of 34. Strasburg also knocked down eight 3-pointers on 23 attempts, while Yuma made four of 13. The home team recorded 16 assists. Yuma shot seven more free throws, made just 13 of 26.

“Strasburg was a great late season test,” Sheffield said. “We did a bunch of things really well, but missed on others. Hitting for only 50 percent from the free throw line in a tight game makes it tough to win. We struggled in the second quarter offensively, which led to a hole at half time. I really liked how this group battled throughout the second half.”

Sheffield finished with 26 points and three rebounds, Thomson 11 points and 11 rebounds, Gamboa 11 points and eight rebounds, Duarte 11 points and three rebounds, and Munoz two rebounds.