Yuma girls cut out their work – Yuma Pioneer

The Yuma High School girls basketball team is definitely busy right now.
The Indians are 1-1 in the Lower Platte Activities Association after last Friday’s harsh 47-40 loss at Akron. They improved to 6-4 overall with a thrilling 54-51 non-league win over Burlington on Saturday afternoon at The Pit.

The league loss at Akron, 1-1 in league play and 5-3 overall, is big though as the Indians travel to Wray for a major league showdown on Friday.
“Now we have to get some big wins at other people’s houses,” said head coach Jeremy Robinson.
Yuma stayed in the top 10 in Class 2A this week at No. 10, falling from No. 8 last week and is No. 15 on the 2A Rating Percentage Index.
Wray is 5-5 after starting the season 2-0, but is 8th in the top 10. The Eagles are ranked No. 19 on the RPI. They are 1-1 in league play after last Friday’s 56-46 loss at No. 4 Holyoke. The Dragons are 9-1 overall and 1-0 in the LPAA. They’re in Haxtun on Friday for the Phillips County Showdown and have a huge non-conference game in No. 2 lemons.
Yuma lost 63-49 at home to Wray in early December but showed promise after falling 17 behind in the first half. However, a relatively young Indians roster must grow in a hurry to stay in the league hunt and secure the best possible seeding for the postseason.
“It will be like always with Wray,” said Robinson, “they will put pressure on us and push the pace.”
However, he noted that the Indians were particularly good at handling the other team’s pressing defense. “I’m very proud that these girls are handling the pressure,” he said.
Yuma will face a challenge when it returns home to The Pit for a Saturday matinee against the Sidney Red Raiders. Sidney went 13-2 this week and has easily handled the Indians in their recent encounters over the past few years.
“It’s a big weekend for us,” said Robinson. “We have a lot to do.”
Like finding the other team’s best player, like last Friday’s loss at Akron.
Sophomore Addisyn Kessinger, 6-foot-0 and very strong and skilled, torched the Indians for 32 points and often went unharmed on cuts to the baskets for undisputed layups. Yuma also struggled to do anything against Akron’s 2-3 zone, shooting just 27 percent, including 25 percent on 2-pointers (eight for 31).
“Part of that is at my expense, we should have come out of the press and just been trying to pull out a win,” Robinson said.
Yuma took a 12-11 lead early in the second quarter, but Kessinger scored six points while Yuma couldn’t put down anything as the Indians were down 19-14 at halftime. Kessinger scored all but two points from Akron in the third as the Rams built a 35-21 lead.
The Indians tried to rally in fourth place, moving 43-37 to six after Ashley Ibanez’s old three-point game, but it was as close as the Indians could get.
Lea Richardson had 11 points, Sam Wells nine points and six rebounds, Meidi Reyes eight points, Caddis Robinson six points and three rebounds, Ibanez four points and five rebounds and Jade Lungwitz two points and three rebounds.
“Akron, they are a good, solid team. You have to believe them,” said Robinson. “But we just didn’t get off the bus.”
Yuma was back home at The Pit on Saturday afternoon for an out-of-league game against Burlington. The Cougars came into town with just one win but barely lost to Wray earlier in the week and boast another talented runner-up in Trinitee Holmes and newcomer Kiyarra Williams.
The duo had 40 points combined, but it was Yuma, who had a somewhat depleted line-up due to injury and illness, coming out on top with an exciting 54-51 win.
“Seeing them recover like that was amazing,” said Robinson. “We let some players down but everyone stepped up and responded.”
It definitely wasn’t easy.
It seemed like the tribe was building a 21-13 lead midway through the second quarter. However, behind 13 combined points from Holmes and Williams, the Cougars came back to 28-25 at halftime.
Burlington took a 36-34 lead late in the third, but a bucket from Lea Richardson and a 3-pointer from Meidi Reyes brought the lead back to Yuma, who entered fourth.
The Indians missed several shots early in the fourth period as Burlington took a 42-39 lead, but Yuma responded with a 6-0 run for a 45-42 lead.
Coming back was Burlington with seven straight points from the Burlington duo, but Yuma senior Sam Wells responded with four straight points, the second from a nice feed from Richardson, who then added two at the charity strip for a 51-49 lead from Yuma 1 minute scored , 39 seconds left.
Holmes made a free throw to reduce Yuma’s lead to one.
However, Reyes deflated a 3-pointer from long range that had everyone groaning until he shot through the bottom of the net for a 54-50 lead by 40 seconds.
Burlington made a free throw with 19 seconds remaining but then failed to foul a Yuma player until 0.1 seconds remained, giving the Indians the three-point win.
Yuma didn’t shoot well again, hitting 29 percent of 61 shots, including 26 percent on 2-pointers, and making 13 of 23 free throws. Richardson had 13 points and five rebounds, Wells 11 points and four rebounds, Reyes nine points and two assists, Robinson eight points and seven rebounds, Hailey Eyring five points and three rebounds, Jailyn Mekelburg four points and four rebounds, and Lungwitz two points and three rebounds

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