Yuma girls closing in on another LPAA title
Another league title is coming into view for the Yuma High School basketball.
There’s still plenty of ballin’ left to go, however.
The Indians can take another step toward that goal Saturday when they host the Merino Rams. They are in first place in the Lower Platte Activities Association with a 4-0 record after a 38-24 home win over the Holyoke Dragons, last Friday. They are 10-3 overall after this past Tuesday’s 52-30 home win over the Chase County Longhorns from Imperial, Nebraska.
“We just need to play defense and keep winning games,” coach Bob Rahm said. “We need to beat Merino. That will get us closer to locking up the league.”
Merino is 3-1 in league play, 8-4 overall, after beating Sedgwick County 35-22 last Friday.
Holyoke, which was ranked in the Top 10 at one point, dropped to 1-3 in league play with last Friday’s loss, 6-6 overall. Wray picked up a big win last Friday over Haxtun, 49-45, to improve to 2-1 in league play, 10-2 overall. Haxtun is 3-1, 11-2. Wiggins, which blew out Caliche, is 2-1, 7-6, while Akron is 1-3, 3-11, Sedgwick County 0-3, 4-9, and Caliche 0-6, 3-11.
After Saturday, the Indians travel to Sedgwick County for another league game. Wins Saturday and Tuesday would all but lock up the league title, which would be the Tribe’s second straight outright title, and fourth in the last six years.
The Indians have won 10 of their past 11 games after starting the season 0-2. They are doing it with defense, particularly after the break as they have held all but one opponent to 30 or less points. Wray scored 38, but Yuma won, and Sidney scored 30 in a win in The Pit. All others have been in the 20s or teens.
However, “we need to be a little better offensively,” Rahm said. “We just don’t shoot the ball well sometimes.
“We have to play our best game, so hopefully we’ll come into that later into the season.”
Yuma started out slow offensively last Friday in The Pit, trailing Holyoke 8-6 after the first quarter. That followed on the heels of scoring only three points in the first quarter of the Indians’ previous game against Sidney.
However, they finally broke out in the second quarter against Holyoke, scoring 20 points to take a 26-16 lead into the halftime locker room. They built their lead to nearly 20 in the third quarter. It was shaping up to be one of the highest-scoring Yuma-Holyoke games in recent memory, but then the teams combined for three points in the fourth, only one from Yuma, as the Indians cruised to the finish line with a 14-point win.
And they did it with senior post Chasey Blach spending much of the game on the bench in foul trouble.
Yuma’s defense held Holyoke junior Taeryn Trumper to five points, and classmate Emily Jelden scoreless. Freshman post Vieselmeyer paced the Dragons with 13.
“Viri (Escobar) was by far the MVP just because of what she did holding Jelden scoreless,” Rahm said, adding that Reagan Nolin also did a nice job holding Trumper in check, and players such as Ema Richardson and Elle Roth helped hold down the interior while Blach was limited to two points and four rebounds.
“We talk a lot each game about winning your matchup,” Rahm said. “I think we did a good job of that. Everybody contributed. We won by 14 with Chasey playing one quarter of the game.”
Senior Cody Robinson got it done offensively with 16 games, along two rebounds. Nolin had six points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals, Richardson six points, and a team-leading eight rebounds, Escobar four points, two rebounds and two steals, Roth four points and six rebounds, and Ximena Sotelo one rebound.
The Indians found an offensive rhythm against Chase County, Tuesday night. They ran out to a 17-8 lead, then kept pouring it on in the second quarter for a 34-13 lead at halftime.
Yuma held the Longhorns to just 17 more points in the second half, cruising to the win.
Robinson led the scoring with 21 points, Blach got going offensively again with 19. Roth added four, and Nolin, Escobar, Richardson and Lainey Mekelburg each had two.