Yuma boys roll into 2022

It is hard to imagine anything opponents could do to seriously slow the Yuma High School boys basketball team’s momentum.
The Indians returned from the Christmas break with a pair of blowout wins at home, last weekend, cruising past Haxtun and Holyoke. They are 7-1 overall, 1-0 in Lower Platte Activities Association play, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A Top 10 and are No. 1 in the Rating Percentage Index. Their only loss was on a last-second 3-pointer in double overtime against Class 3A No. 5 Eaton.

However, head coach Dave Sheffield cautioned there is plenty of work left to be done.
“The season is always a process, and there are still a lot of things we need to improve on for this season,” he said. “We have done well to this point, but need to continue to adjust the points of the game where teams have been able to limit our offense.”
They travel to Akron on Friday for a league game, then host Burlington for a non-league contest Saturday afternoon. Akron entered this week 3-4 overall, 0-1 in league play after losing 59-27 at home to Wray last Friday. Burlington was 0-5 heading into this past Tuesday’s home against Wray, and also host Wiggins on Friday before coming to Yuma.
“Akron and Burlington are going to give us different looks at defenses,” Sheffield said. “Offensively, we have had periods of struggle against specific defenses, and these two teams will test where we are at with those defenses.”
Yuma came back from the holidays last Friday with the LPAA opener against Haxtun in The Pit.
The Indians raced out to an 18-3 lead. However, Haxtun, which won the 8-man football championship in November, muscled up to pull within 25-18 midway through the second quarter, and trailed just 34-22 at halftime.
Yuma’s overwhelming depth, speed and skills eventually proved to be too much, though. The Indians led 44-27 when they closed the third on a 15-0 run, with several different players scoring, for a 59-27 lead.
The bench was emptied in the fourth, but the Tribe kept dominating as it eventually won 75-35.
Yuma shot 47 percent to Haxtun’s 37 percent, including 42 percent behind the 3-point arc, making 10 of 24 compared to just one of 15 for the Fightin’ Bulldogs. The Indians also dominated the glass, 34-28, and came up with 23 steals while also dishing out 20 assists.
Clay Robinson had 21 points, seven steals, five rebounds and four assists, Forest Rutledge 12 points, five rebounds and three assists, Javier Gamboa nine points and four steals, Jake Haruf eight points and two rebounds, Jesus Ross six points, three assists and three steals, Beau Tate six points, four rebounds and three steals, Javier Duran five points and four assists, Andre Baucke two points and two rebounds, Jonathan Carrillo two points and two assists, Jaxson Lungwitz two points, Angel Escobar two points, Kobe Rayl one assist and one rebound, and Daman Thornton one rebound.
The Indians came out rolling Saturday afternoon against Holyoke, in a non-league game in The Pit. They scored the first eight points and led 30-8 by the end of the first quarter.
Holyoke was able to play mostly even with the Tribe the rest of the way, but that was not nearly enough as the home boys cruised to a 75-50 win.
Yuma shot 50 percent compared to the Dragons’ 34 percent. The Indians made only four of 20 behind the arc, but made 29 of 46 two-pointers (63 percent). They had 13 steals and 22 assists.
Robinson had 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals, Duran 17 points, six assists, six steals and four rebounds, Tate 11 points and eight rebounds, Rutledge five points and five rebounds, Gamboa four points, three assists and two steals, Baucke four points, Ross three points, five rebounds and two assists, Haruf three points, Lungwitz two points and one rebound, Rayl two points, Cesar Varela two points, Angel Escobar two points, Carrillo two points, and Thornton two assists.
“Last weekend we did a great job starting each game,” Sheffield said. “We were able to jump out to big early leads. In the second quarter of each game we struggled with some aspects of our offense. In the second half we were able to expand our lead and work our rotations more, which will help us as the season progresses.”