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Yukon’s Riester focuses on leadership

The Yukon Millers’ wrestling team challenged Deer Creek on Thursday during a district dual. Coach Joe Schneider said he was proud of his team’s fight, but there is still work to do. Photo / Terry Groover

Justus Reister came into this season looking to improve in all areas of his game. But the Yukon senior wanted to especially pay attention to one trait in particular.
“I was looking to see a lot of leadership out of myself,” Reister said. “Leading the team, scoring a lot, giving good assists, getting a lot of rebounds. Do what I needed to do to win.”
While improving his scoring, rebounding and playmaking ability were all on his list, it was being the best leader he could be for a young Yukon squad that Reister felt a need to focus on.
According to Reister, that means making sure the Millers are ready each time they take the floor.
“Before the games, making sure everyone’s ready to play, making sure that we’re just all locked in, ready to go and scoring a lot,” Reister said. “Giving the team good energy at all times.”
So far, it seems to be working for Reister and Yukon. Through 11 games, the team has racked up an 8-3 record. Two of its three defeats have come to squads ranked inside the 6A top 15.
Reister has liked what he has seen from his team so far and gives much of the credit to coach Kevin Ritter.
“We’ve been executing what coach has been telling us to do real well. He’s been pushing us in practice, and we started off to a good season so far,” Reister said. “I think it’s the way that coach has been preparing us before games, to be honest. He’s been giving us a whole good scouting report and telling us what we need to do to execute and win the game.”
But Reister’s growth on the court has also been part of what the Millers have been able to do. After playing sparingly as a junior, he has been dominant at times for Yukon.
“He is starting to find his niche offensively,” Ritter said. “He’s learning to score inside. He might be even better when we get our big kid back because it slides Justus to a position where he will be guarded by even smaller guys. So it might be even better
for us.”
Recently, Reister scored a career-high 34 points on 9 of 12 shots. He was also 13 of 14 from the free-throw line in 30 minutes of action.
“I was knocking down a lot of free throws. That was a part of it,” Reister said. “My team was setting me up to score a lot. They were giving me good passes, good assists. I was getting rebounds, putting them back up.”
While it was a big night for Reister, he also knows it means he has set a pretty high bar for himself.
“I set a standard,” Reister said. “The mentality is to win of course, seeing that I had that scoring game. I need to at least keep the numbers up there. It shows that I can score. I should be scoring a lot of points each game.”
After this week, Reister will have just nine games left in his final regular-season before the playoffs begin. He has a couple of goals he wants to accomplish before he hangs up his Yukon jersey.
One includes finding a way to continue his basketball career.
“I want to get a scholarship to go play basketball,” Reister said. “It would mean the world to me. I’ve been working for it ever since I was a 5-year old. It would really help with my academics and everything because I have to be able to pay for it.”
Reister says he hasn’t had any serious talks with colleges yet. But knows there is still time to make an impression.
Reister’s other goal is to make sure the Millers don’t leave anything on the court this season and reach their potential.
“I want the team to succeed to our best of our ability,” Reister said. “I want to go as far as we can in the playoffs and obviously get to the state finals.”
Reister and the Millers will head to the Sweet Pea Tournament on Thursday before facing Mustang Jan. 28.
Yukon senior Justus Reister goes up for a shot during last week’s game against Deer Creek. Reister said his goal this year was to become more of a leader for the Millers. Photo / Terry Groover

1 Comment

  1. Cathy Wright on January 25, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Justus is an awesome player with an abundance of talent.

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