Yuma boys finally return to action tonight in playoffs

It has been awhile since anyone has seen the Yuma High School boys basketball team play a game.
The Indians have not played since a 65-25 win at Burlington on February 20, thanks to a COVID-19 case and the ensuing quarantine wiping out the last four games of the regular season.

However, they will finally be back on the court today, March 11, when they host 13th-seed Fowler in a Class 2A Sweet 16 game. Fowler knocked off 20th-seed Vail Mountain, 37-34, Tuesday night.
“I like our group,” head coach Dave Sheffield said. “We just need to get back into the swing of things.”
Missing the last four regular-season games ruined the Indians’ bid for a top-two seed in the Class 2A 24-team playoff field. However, it also did not result in them dropping in the standings as they ended up as the fourth seed.
The top eight seeds got a first-round bye this past Tuesday.
That has allowed the Indians to get in three full days of practice earlier this week, following the current hiatus, heading into the postseason.
They will see a familiar foe tonight in The Pit. (Game will be streamed live on the Yuma Indians Athletics and Activities Facebook.) Fowler comes to town after knocking off Vail Mountain this past Tuesday. Yuma beat the Grizzlies in the state semifinals while on their way to the 2019 2A title, and knocked them off in the quarterfinals last year, putting the Indians two wins away from a third-straight state title when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Tonight’s game promises to be another competitive showdown in what will be the first meeting between the teams in Yuma.
This year’s state tournament is a two-week blur, with the higher-seeded team hosting all the way through the semifinals.
Seeds 9-24 played this past Tuesday, followed by the Sweet 16 games today. CHSAA announced Thursday that the quarterfinals have been moved to Monday, and the semifinals to Wednesday, due to the major snowstorm expected to hit the state over the weekend. The championship game will be at the World Arena in Colorado Springs on Friday, March 19.
If Yuma was to prevail tonight, the Indians will host a quarterfinal Monday against the winner of today’s game between fifth-seed Holly and 12th-seed Wiggins, which beat Vail Christian on Tuesday.
Yuma’s side of the bracket is fascinating. On the upper end is No. 1 seed Wray, along with eighth-seed Sedgwick County, fellow LPAA teams, as is Wiggins. Wray hosts 16th-seed Monte Vista tonight, while Sedgwick County hosts ninth-seed Mancos.
If they both win, they will play a quarterfinal in the Eagles Nest on Monday.
If Yuma and Wiggins also both win today, that would mean all four quarterfinalists on the left side of the bracket would be LPAA teams, ensuring the league a representative in the state championship game — which already seems like a pretty good bet anyway.
Of course, there is the potential of a Yuma-Wray semifinal in Wray on Wednesday. There is also a chance Yuma could be hosting the semifinal.
Of course, there is a lot of basketball to be played in a short amount of time before ever getting to that point.
The first challenge is getting past Fowler after such a long break.
“The guys have done a good job managing this,” Sheffield said. “They’re going to be anxious to get back on the floor.
“These first three days will seem like three weeks,” he said Monday, “and then it’s game after game after game…the home-site stuff is going to be a big change. You just have to get in and go. You have to worry more about yourself than the other team at this point in the season.”
The other side of the bracket features second-seed Limon, third-seed Peyton, sixth-seed Denver Christian and seventh-seed Sanford.