Fans are going to find out what the Mabton High School boys basketball team is made of this coming Friday night, as the Vikings play host to Riverside Christian.
The Vikings will enter this Friday night's home game against one of the top 'B' schools in the State, fresh off their first back-to-back defeats of the season.
Mabton suffered a heartbreaking double-overtime defeat to Trout Lake, 70-68, on Friday night. The Mustangs are the top seeded team in the Greater Columbia 'B' League's southern division. The only loss Trout Lake has sustained this season in league play is to Sunnyside Christian.
The weekend didn't get any better for the Vikings, as Mabton traveled to 2A Toppenish Saturday night for a non-league affair. The Wildcats came out on top 89-70.
"We just lacked defensive intensity," said Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood.
Ledgerwood said there were times in both games this past weekend where Mabton would play solid defense and then go through periods where the Vikings just seemed to stand around.
Ledgerwood was impressed with Trout Lake on Friday night.
"They come out and played hard," said Ledgerwood. "We might have overlooked them."
Both teams played evenly in the first quarter, posting 14-point periods. But the defensive woes of the Vikings came into play in the second period, when Trout Lake outscored Mabton 17-12.
"We didn't play enough defense in the first half," Ledgerwood added.
Mabton was forced to play catch-up for the rest of the game, and cut Trout Lake's lead down to six with under two minutes left. The Vikings sent the game into overtime when A.J. Valencia nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Mabton had a shot to win the game in the first overtime, but couldn't score with three seconds left.
The game ended in the second overtime when Mabton turned the ball over with 15 seconds left. The Vikings switched to a zone defense and managed to tip the ball out of bounds. On the inbounds play, Trout Lake's Roy Browning, who had a team-high 17 points along with Mike Hansen, drove past three Mabton defenders and put a shot up that fell with two seconds left.
Besides struggling at times on the defensive side, Ledgerwood felt Friday's game boiled down to missed opportunities. Mabton shot 10-for-24 from the free throw line while Trout Lake went 15-of-26. Mabton missed four free throw opportunities combined in both overtimes.
"It was a game of missed opportunities for us," said Ledgerwood.
A lack of defensive pressure hurt the Vikings again Saturday at Toppenish, as the Wildcats dished out a punishing offensive flurry in the first half. The Wildcats outscored Mabton 44-25 in the first half.
"I expected us to come out flat," said Ledgerwood after the loss to Trout Lake the previous night.
Mabton played a lot better in the second half, which saw both teams post 45 points.
Toppenish had a field day at the free throw line in the second half, scoring 21 points from the charity stripe, 15 of which came in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats were an impressive 30-for-36 from the free throw line for the game.
Much like the first time the two teams met earlier in the season, Toppenish's Stuart Reynolds proved to be a thorn in the Vikings' side. Reynolds scored 32 points for Toppenish.
Ledgerwood praised the play of Noe Moncivaiz this weekend. Ledgerwood said Moncivaiz was instrumental in helping Mabton overcome a 12-point deficit against Trout Lake and was also key in the Vikings trimming Toppenish's lead to 9 points.
Mabton (6-2, 8-6) will need to come out with a lot of intensity this Friday against Riverside Christian after losing back-to-back games for the first time this season, said Ledgerwood.
"We will have to see how they (the Vikings) handle it," said Ledgerwood.
Mabton will be at Lyle on Saturday.
. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 2 3 4 5 6 T
Trout Lake 14 17 12 12 6 9 70
Mabton 14 12 13 16 6 7 68
Scoring: Mabton-A.J. Valencia 24, Ricardo Huecias 11, Alex Zavala 10, Andy Rodriguez 8, Manuel Palacios 6, Frankie Mariscal 2, Noe Moncivaiz 2, Pedro Huecias 2, Andy Cervantes 2, Ryan Harris 1.
Trout Lake-Roy Browning 17, Mike Hansen 17.
Rebounds: Andy Rodriguez 8, Manuel Palacios 7.
Assists: A.J. Valencia 4, Andy Rodriguez 4.
1 2 3 4 T
Mabton 13 12 19 26 70
Toppenish 18 25 20 25 89
Scoring: Mabton-Alex Zavala 20, A.J. Valencia 11, Andy Rodriguez 14, Frankie Mariscal 10, Noe Moncivaiz 6, Perdro Huecias 4, Manuel Palacios 3, Ryan Harris 2.
Toppenish-Stuart Reynolds 32.
Rebounds: Frankie Mariscal 5.