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Sellers improves on 2021-22 season, wins second yuma sun/yuma rotary club Player of the year award
Just over a month ago, Yuma Catholic girls basketball was tied with Page at 40 points apiece in the second round of the 3A State Playoffs with 35 seconds to play. The Sand Devils attempted to break the deadlock with a driving layup attempt, but the Shamrocks defense held strong, blocking the shot.
Breaking out on the right wing was senior point guard Reese Sellers, who received a pass leading to a go-ahead layup that would give YC the lead, resulting in a 46-40 win.
On top of her clutch go-ahead basket, Sellers would score 29 in the win, one of many performances which makes her deserving of the 2023 Yuma Sun/ Yuma Rotary Club Girls Basketball Player of the Year, the second year in a row she’s won the award.
While she may not have accomplished her ultimate goal of winning a state championship, Sellers certainly led a talented YC squad into the depths of a loaded playoff field, something she finds solace in despite an early exit in the quarterfinals, further than the team made it in 2021-2022.
“I’m satisfied we made if further than we did last year and I really enjoyed this season overall,” Sellers said. “But, I also feel like we really had the talent to go farther and that’s the upsetting part and it shows that if you come out of the gate slow in one game, that can be the difference.”
One of the main reasons the Shamrocks made it to the quarterfinals was Sellers’ efforts running the point. The senior averaged 16.7 points per game, dished four assists and averaged just under four steals per contest. She was the 3A Conference Offensive Player of the Year and 3A West Region Player of the Year.
“I prefer point guards who can score,” Shamrocks head coach Bobby Mcgalliard said. “Reese can score and fits the mold of what I want in a point guard perfectly. She’s been the starting point guard for us for three years and has been through all of the wars with us. When she gets the ball, she just knows how to make things happen.”
The senior also wanted to address other aspects of her game in her final year at Yuma Catholic, such as her leadership and confidence, something which was noticed by her head coach and teammates.
“She definitely stepped up this year,” Mcgalliard said. “She talked and gave input during practice and any time a player was struggling, she would go over and talk to them and get them in the right
headspace. It’s one thing to hear it from your coach, but when you have a player out there saying the right things and being a leader, that’s very valuable.”
“She also made it a point this year to lead by example with the ball. When we needed production, we were breaking down or there’s a challenge in front of us, she would go get the ball and find a way to get things done, leading by example in that way. Last year she would shy away from that, but had that confidence to do it this year and sometimes that’s what you need.”
After three years
running the point for the Shamrocks, Sellers hopes she left Yuma Catholic girls basketball in a better place than when she found it, contributing to the growing legacy and story of the program.
“I want to be remembered for being a good teammate and never being on anyone’s bad side,”
Sellers said. “As a freshman, I never wanted to be on the court, I was scared to touch the ball because there were two really good players in front of me and I thought I could never be as good as them. Eventually, I conquered that fear and took big jumps and fell in love with basketball and learned to love the sport and my team.”
“Reese’s success is a continuation of what we’ve been building here,” Mcgalliard said. “When we got to the point that we knew we could be competing for a state championship every year, Reese bought into that and carried the efforts of the players that came before her and went after that challenge. Reese and her
teammates set forth a work ethic that will be upheld and continued the excellence of our program.”
Sellers is set to play Division III basketball at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota and will sign her national letter of intent in the coming weeks.