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Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Continuing the dynasty

Yutan girls basketball team wins conference championship for third year in a row
From left to right, Millie Dieckman, Reagan Wilson, Haley Kube, Maura Tichota, Jade Lewis, Emmy Tederman, Delaney Shield, Olivia Chapman, Jenna Trent, Mylee Tichota, Madison Wilson, Jenna Benjamin and Allison Kirchmann pose for a picture with their conference trophy. This was the third year in a row that the Chieftains won the conference tournament. (Courtesy Photo )

For the first time in Yutan girls basketball history, the Lady Chieftains won their conference tournament three years in a row. With the many ups and downs of the three conference games this year, the Chieftains pushed past their struggles to further enhance their dynasty.

“It was a pretty big deal. This will be my fourth conference tournament I’ve been a part of and my third conference championship that I’ve won. It’s not just another win or another title, it’s another legacy that we’re building because no one else has ever done that,” said senior Haley Kube. “We’re now sitting third overall in Class C2.”

In the conference tournament, the Chieftains had to defeat Logan View, Raymond Central and Arlington in order to bring home the plaque. They first played Logan View and defeated them 50-19. 

“When we got into the Logan View game, we were pretty confident with how we handled them,” said junior Millie Dieckman. “After the first half, how we handled them was just like a confidence booster.”

Moving on to the second game of conference, the Chieftains faced more of a challenge, beating Raymond Central 58-51 in overtime. Starting the game down by five, they had to regroup earlier on than they thought.

Junior Jade Lewis reaches over a Raymond Central opponent to score a layup. Jade had a total of seven steals in the second conference game. (Mckenna Jones)

“For Raymond Central, we came into the game I think a little too over our heads. Before the game, we knew their two biggest players were out, so we thought that it would be a lot easier to roll over on them but it wasn’t,” said Kube.

Helping the Chieftains regroup was junior Jade Lewis with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 6 steals. After starting off the Raymond Central game with a slow start, her points helped the Chieftains to reassemble.

“A lot of her presence started at the top of our one-to-one by getting steals, runouts and layups and just big momentum shifting plays. So those are some of the things that Jade brought to the table in that game,” said coach Clayton Carlton. 

Along with individuals contributing to the team’s comeback, the girls’ previous experience also helped them to overcome the pressures of conference. 

“A lot of them that are out there playing right now have been in big game situations, whether it be in basketball from last year or volleyball this year,” said Carlton. “That experience just paid off. They knew how to make plays, and in those situations, they weren’t scared of those situations and they got it done.”

Lewis believes her team’s dynamic was another big part of the team being able to battle back and win the second game in the tournament.

“Thursday night versus Raymond Central, our team chemistry was so strong. Fourth quarter we had to make a big comeback. We’re really a close group of girls, and our team chemistry throughout the year is just getting stronger,” said Lewis. 

After winning a tough game, Yutan returned to the gym on Saturday night for their third game. In this final game against Arlington, the Chieftains won 39-21 to bring home a Capitol Conference championship for the third year in a row. After a long week, the girls were excited to have achieved something that Yutan has never seen before: three championships in a row.

“Conference week is a very long week from game to practice and game to game,” said senior Reagan Wilson. “Going back-to-back-to-back is something that I think every single person on the team wanted to do. We all worked our very hardest and really pushed each other at practices, and I think was a really big part of why we won the games.”

Sophomore Mylee Tichota shoots a free-throw at the conference game against Raymond Central. Tichota had a total of 18 points in the Raymond Central game. (Mckenna Jones)

Many of the girls mentioned how practices were a fundamental part of getting the team ready for conference and contributing to their overall 13-2 record at this point in the season. 

“We work together on offense; we make really good passes in practice, and I think that helps us know what to look for in games. We build that team bond in practice that helps us to excel in games,” said Kube. 

Another thing the Chieftains did in practice was talk about the goals that everyone had for the season, which was crucial for the team to play well together.

“Coming together as a team and talking about our goals and what we want for the rest of the season for our team helped,” said Dieckman.

Besides practice, the Lady Chieftains’ strong team bond is another aspect that is helping the girls to work  together better both on and off the court. 

“This team is definitely one of the closest teams I’ve been on ever in all sports and all years of high school. I think that trust and the faith that we have in each other is what really helps us play so well together as a team and win big games like conference,” said Wilson. 

With their team bonds becoming stronger and stronger, the Lady Chieftains are looking to end their 2023-2024 season with even more success than the conference championship. They hope to utilize their skills learned over the past years to really excel as a team at the end of the season.

“I don’t think there’s anybody who can really stop us from our path to a state title as long as we keep working hard and pushing each other at practices,” said Wilson.

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About the Contributors
Loganne Barta, Junior writer
Loganne Barta is a junior and in her third year of journalism.  She enjoys writing features and sports stories.  Outside journalism, Loganne is involved in FCA, NHS, FFA, student council and showing livestock through 4-H.
Mckenna Jones, Junior writer
Mckenna Jones is a junior and in her third year of journalism. She enjoys writing entertainment reviews, sports stories and taking photos. Outside journalism, Mckenna is involved in volleyball, track, NHS and FCA.
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