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Vikings shine at jamboree

MABTON - What a night for the Mabton High School boys basketball team.

The Vikings seemingly picked up where they left off last season with jamboree wins Tuesday night at home against 2A Kiona-Benton and Liberty Christian, a 'B' school out of Richland.

"I was pretty happy," said Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood. "I was really impressed with our defense."

The format for Tuesday night's jamboree had the squads playing two five-minute periods.

The excitement of opening the season was about the only drawback for the Vikings in the first game against Kiona-Benton, as Mabton took many wild shots.

"They were excited," said Ledgerwood. "We couldn't shoot very well."

Despite the wild shots, Mabton downed the Bears 11-7. A.J. Valencia led the Vikings in scoring with 4 points. Teammates Ruben Mejia, Carl Calzada and Eric Tellez each had 2 points apiece.

The Vikings were solid in just about every area against the Bears. Mabton made 5-of-6 free throws and had an impressive 12 rebounds during the 10-minute pairing.

"I thought we blocked out real well," said Ledgerwood.

Ledgerwood said he would have liked to have seen his team show a bit more patience in shooting the ball during the Kiona-Benton game. Ledgerwood, though, said he understood his team's excitement to start the season. The Mabton coach would have also liked to have seen his team a bit more attentive defensively, as the Bears used some effective screens to score.

Any kinks Mabton might have had in the Kiona-Benton game were definitely worked out by the end of the night. The Vikings put a 28-18 pounding on Liberty Christian.

Alex Zavala led Mabton in scoring with 10 points. Valencia dropped in 8 and Mejia and Macias each had 4 points. Calzada rounded out the scoring with 2 points.

"We got a lot of fastbreak baskets," said Ledgerwood. "We made some shots we didn't in the first game."

Despite giving up three 3-pointers to Liberty Christian, Ledgerwood felt his players defended well.

Mabton had another solid outing at the free throw line, going 7-for-13. The Vikings also nabbed 11 rebounds.

Ledgerwood felt the jamboree served its purpose.

"It got those first game jitters out," said Ledgerwood.

The Vikings open their regular season this Friday night at White Swan before hosting Moses Lake Christian on Saturday.

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