Yuma girls ready for another league run

Yuma High School’s girls basketball is about to begin one last go-around against a tough Lower Platte lineup.

The Outlaws are 6-1 after returning from Christmas break last Saturday with a 53-39 home win over Highland. They entered this week No. 3 in the 3A CHSAA Seeding & Selection Index, which will be utilized to seed the postseason field.

YHS was kept in the Lower Platte even after being moved up to Class 3A in basketball last school year. This likely will be the program’s last season in the league as the school is expecting to be moved into a 3A league beginning next season, particularly since Wray and Wiggins reportedly are going to have to go up 3A beginning next school year.

For now, though, the Outlaws have another run through an always-challenging Lower Platte.

It begins Friday when they travel to Holyoke. The Dragons entered this past Tuesday’s game against Phillips County rival Haxtun with a 2-5 record and No. 38 in the 2A Index. They lost by two, 47-45, last Friday at Caliche in their league opener.

Haxtun will come to town Saturday afternoon for another league game. The Fightin’ Bulldogs entered this week a surprisingly 0-8 and No. 48 in the 2A Index. They lost their league opener last Saturday to Wiggins, 54-44.

“Holyoke and Haxtun both have size, so that will definitely help us down the stretch,” coach Jeremy Robinson said. “Hopefully this is the last weekend where we can take care of business before we (run into a lot of challenging teams).”

The Outlaws definitely had some rust to knock off when it returned to action last Saturday for the first time since before Christmas.

Highland is missing of its best players due to injury this season but still have plenty good players raised on a recent winning tradition. The Huskies dropped to 4-5 with the loss in The Pit, but still entered this week No. 14 in the 3A Index.

Yuma seemed to be all out of sorts early in the game. Highland scored seven straight to lead 9-6 at the end of the first, then opened the second with an 8-2 run for a 17-8 lead.

However, the Outlaws finally settled in and somehow trailed just 22-21 by halftime.

They then completely dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Huskies 20-1 for a 41-22 lead.

Highland did make a run in the fourth to get within 10, 41-31, but the Outlaws quickly pushed the lead back into the teens after a timeout and held on down the stretch.

“It was good how we battled back in the second quarter to trail by only one,” Robinson said. “Then the third quarter was fantastic again. We definitely settled in after halftime.”

Yuma won despite making only one of nine attempts behind the 3-point line for its worst long-range shooting of the season. (“Maybe we shot too many in practice last week,” Robinson cracked.) Highland made six treys, but it took 25 attempts, and most of those makes came in the first half.

The Outlaws were much more efficient inside the arc, making 21 of 48 (44 percent) while Highland made just eight of 29 2-pointers. Plus, Yuma made eight of 12 at the charity stripe, while the Huskies made just five of 21. Yuma also dominated the boards, outrebounding the visitors 49-25, but the Outlaws did hurt its cause a bit with 22 turnovers.

Caddis Robinson and Alina Moran both recorded double-doubles. Robinson had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Moran 12 points and 11 rebounds. Jade Lungwitz had nine points and two rebounds, Ashley Ibanez seven points, eight rebounds and three assists, Jailyn Mekelburg (in the senior’s first action of the season due to injury) four points and four rebounds, Carolina Ross three poitns and four rebounds, Taryn Sheffield two points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Bailey Nighswonger two points and three rebounds.