Yuma boys cruised to regional title

Yuma High School’s boys basketball team played like the No. 1 seed, last weekend in regional.

The Indians earned the program’s fifth-straight trip to the Class 2A Great 8 by storming past 32nd-seed Dawson School, 64-16, last Friday in the regional semifinal, and 90-57 over 16th-seed Vail Christian, Saturday in the Sweet 16.
“A goal of all teams going into the season is to get to state,” head coach Dave Sheffield said. “Getting there is never a given. It has been a great run. Each of these groups has done a great job of doing the extra in order to get there. It really is a testament to the work that these guys have put in through the years.”
The regional fun began last Friday against the Dawson School Mustangs.
It was over early.
Beau Tate scored six points as the Indians ran out to a 12-0 lead. Clay Robinson then scored 10 of the next 12 points for a 24-6 lead.
Yuma led 54-16 by the end of the third quarter, then held Dawson scoreless in the fourth.
Dawson had 25 turnovers, shot 14 percent — including missing all 13 of its 3-point attempts, and shot only four free throws, making two.
Yuma did not exactly have a great shooting night, finishing at 35.6 percent, including making only four of 16 free deep. The Indians did make 15 of 20 at the charity stripe, and scored 34 points off turnovers. The defense came up with 14 steals.
Robinson had 21 points, five rebounds and three steals, Tate 12 points and six rebounds, Jesus Ross five points and two steals, Javier Gamboa five points and three rebounds, Forest Rutledge four points and four rebounds, Angel Escobar four points, Jake Haruf three points and three rebounds, Andre Baucke two points and two rebounds, Daman Thornton two points, Cristian Duarte two points, Jonathan Carrillo one point and two steals, Jaxson Lungwitz three rebounds, and Kobe Rayl and Cesar Varela one steal each.
“The Dawson game was a good opener for regionals,” Sheffield said. “Our defense overwhelmed them and set up everything else we planned to do in the game.”
Vail Christian ran away from Rye in the second half of their regional semifinal that followed the Yuma game, winning 72-53.
That set up the Sweet 16 game Saturday afternoon in The Pit between the Indians and the Saints.
Vail Christian actually played fairly well despite losing by 33 points; the Saints simply could not keep up with the Tribe’s overwhelming skill, speed and depth.
Five different players scored as Yuma ran out to a 10-0 lead only a couple of minutes into the game. However, the Saints found their range from behind the 3-point, and actually pulled to within 16-14 late in the quarter.
Robinson, though, scored the quarter’s last four points, and the Indians gradually built a 35-18 lead midway through the second quarter.
They led 49-28 by halftime. A 10-0 spurt in the third pushed the lead to 30, 67-37, and the Indians kept rolling through the game’s end.
“The Vail Christian game was a solid effort in all phases,” Sheffield said. “Our defense kept them in a very uncomfortable position throughout, and our offense was clicking through all of the rotations. It was a great overall team effort.”

Yuma shot 55.6 percent overall, including making 29 of 44 of its 2-pointers (66 percent). The Indians also made 14 of 18 at the charity stripe(78 percent). Defensively, they came up with 28 steals, as Vail Christian committed a total of 34 turnovers.
Robinson went out in style in his storied career’s final game in The Pit, finishing with 31 points and eight steals. A total of 10 Indians scored, and all 14 played. Rutledge made three from deep while finishing with 15 points and five rebounds, Carrillo 13 points and three rebounds, Tate 10 points and seven rebounds, Lungwitz six points and three rebounds, Gamboa five points and three steals, Haruf four points, Ross two points and five steals, Thornton two points, Varela two points, and Baucke two rebounds.