TOPPENISH - The Mabton High School boys basketball team seemed to be glad to get back on the court this past Saturday night in Toppenish against Yakama Tribal.
The Vikings had a couple of games from earlier in the week, against Kittitas and LaSalle, postponed because of the weather.
Mabton had an easy time of it against the Eagles, winning 84-56. The Vikings were led by freshman A.J. Valencia with 22 points, but it was Frankie Mariscal who really stood out on Saturday. Mariscal had a solid game for Mabton, posting a career-high 14 points, 12 of which came in the third quarter. Mariscal also had eight rebounds and four assists in the game.
"That is probably the best game he has played (this season)," said Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood of Mariscal.
Ledgerwood said Mariscal really thrived in his pairing with Yakama Tribal's best player, Dereck Payer, on Saturday. Payer scored 28 of his game-high 33 points in the second and third quarters, including 17 points to open the second half. Ledgerwood praised Payer, whom he said has a good presence on the floor. Ledgerwood said Payer runs the offense for the Eagles.
Valencia was only 2-of-9 from 3-point land with the rest of his buckets coming off lay-ups. But while Valencia and Mariscal stood out for Mabton, Saturday's game was truly a team effort by the Vikings. All nine of the players suited up for Saturday scored for Mabton. Alex Zavala, 16 points, and Andy Rodriguez, 11 points, were the other Vikings in double digits in the scoring column.
Mabton also got it done defensively. The Vikings had 22 steals in the game and created 29 turnovers by Yakama Tribal, a number of which came in the third and fourth quarters, said Ledgerwood.
The Vikings dished out an impressive 25 assists as a team. Mabton had six players with three or more assists in the game.
"They shared the ball really well," said Ledgerwood.
Ledgerwood said his players moved the ball very well in Saturday's game. He also said the Vikings played much smarter than in some games they had earlier this season.
Mabton put its stamp on the game with an 18-6 run in the fourth quarter. Leading 35-23 at the break, the Vikings outscored Yakama Tribal 22-19 to start the second half. The Vikings' defense smothered Yakama Tribal in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Eagles 27-14.
Ledgerwood said in the first half, the Vikings contested everything the Eagles put up for a shot.
"We just had pressure on them," said Ledgerwood.
In the second half, the Vikings implemented a trapping press that the Eagles' offense couldn't handle.
With Saturday's win, Mabton moved to 4-1 in Greater Columbia 'B' League play. The Vikings are 6-3 overall heading into Tuesday's non-league game at RiverView.
1 2 3 4 T
Mabton 18 17 22 27 84
Tribal 6 17 19 14 56
Scoring: Mabton - A.J. Valencia 22, Alex Zavala 16, Frankie Mariscal 14, Andy Rodriguez 11, Ricardo Huecias 9, Ryan Harris 6, Andy Cervantes 2, Pedro Huecias 2, Pablo Sanchez 2.
Yakama Tribal - Dereck Payer 33.
Rebounds: Andy Rodriguez 9, Frankie Mariscal 8, Alex Zavala 8.
Assists: Pedro Huecias 7, Alex Zavala 7, Frankie Mariscal 4.