UNION GAP - Mabton girls basketball coach Brett Simpson said the score (63-37) was lopsided compared to how well the Lady Vikes played.
"We were just three or four possessions away through the whole game," said Simpson. "We kept them on their toes."
"They (the Lady Vikings) played hard the whole game," said Simpson, who was impressed by the aggressive play his girls displayed on the court.
"We had three offensive charges last night," he said.
He said his players were constantly trying to get into position and block the Lightning, which is one of the top three teams in the league, from running away with the game.
"They pressed us the whole time," said Simpson.
Mabton's downfall was what Simpson called "shooting woes."
"We had a lot of missed opportunities," said Simpson.
On the other hand, LaSalle was able to convert its pressure game and scored many of their 63 points on converted lay-ups.
"It's tough to stop running lay-ups," he said.
Simpson said the fast-paced game was filled with turnovers, giving both sides opportunities to score. Mabton had 26 turnovers and LaSalle chalked up 25.
In the first minute and a half of the third quarter, Simpson said he thought his team was on its way to making a run after Erica Sanchez netted a three-pointer, followed by a shot for two points by Gloria Vijil.
But the Lightning pressure steamrolled the Lady Vikes. LaSalle scored 19 points in the third.
"The kids tried to battle back," said Simpson, who said the score at the end of the third was 53-28.
With six minutes left in the fourth quarter and a score of 55-28, Simpson called a timeout. Knowing there was no way for Mabton to catch up, he set a new goal for his team, which was to hold the Lightning scoring to 10 points.
His starters played the first three minutes giving up five points. The second three minutes was for those players who had been on the bench most of the game.
"They stepped up and took the ball to the hole," said Simpson. "They got some fouls and free throw opportunities."
High scorer for Mabton (4-3,5-7) was Diana Lopez with 10 points. The game against LaSalle was her first league game of the season.
Alida Mendoza scored 8 points, but was unable to play the second half of the game due to an injury during the game.
Erica Sanchez and Adriana Cardenas each scored 5 points and Betsy Fisher had 4 points. Gloria Vijil scored 3 points for Mabton and Regina Palomarez had 2 points for the team.
. Melissa Browning can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org