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Lady Vikes pull out big win over 4th ranked Kittitas

KITTITAS - On the Kittitas home court, the Mabton Lady Vikings defeated the Coyotes, ranked fourth in State, Tuesday night 60-49.

The loss was Kittitas' second this year, and only the second on their home turf in the past four years, according to Mabton Coach Mike Roettger.

"This is a great confidence builder for us," said Roettger, whose team lost to two of the teams that Kittitas has beaten this season (Riverside Christian and Sunnyside Christian.) The Lady Vikings take on Riverside Christian again this Saturday night and Sunnyside Christian next Tuesday.

The Lady Vikings picked up the game against Kittitas to make up for not playing Trout Lake, which didn't have a team this year. Mabton faced Kittitas in 10 minutes of play at the Mabton jamboree at the beginning of the season and lost 27-10.

"I told the coach that for our program to get on the floor with them was a big thing," said Roettger.

The Lady Vikings were tied with Kittitas after the first quarter, but Mabton was able to blossom in the second quarter, outscoring the Coyotes 19-4.

"Our second quarter we built a lead and by halftime the kids started to believe they could win," said Roettger.

Mabton never let up on its lead for the rest of the game.

Key to the win, Roettger said, was a three-point basket by Erica Sanchez in the third quarter. He said at the point when Sanchez made the shot Kittitas had cut Mabton's lead to 7 points.

"Sanchez hit the three-pointer to take us back to 10. That reignited us," he said.

Also having an outstanding game was Patty Mendoza, who scored 14 points for Mabton. Anna Montelongo had 10 for the evening, 8 of which were in the second quarter.

"Everyone of the kids stepped up to the occasion," said Roettger. "To win big games everyone has to step up."

Turnovers were also key in the game, said Roettger.

"We forced them into 28 turnovers and we only had 10 turnovers," he said. "Their pressure was unbelievable, so turnovers for us were key."

"Our other biggest key was to play all four quarters," said Roettger.

Playing a team the caliber of Kittitas, he said it's important to utilize every minute of the game.

Cristina Burketta, one of the top five on the Valley's all-time scoring list, scored 28 for Kittitas.

"She's a heck of a player," said Roettger. "We actually held her scoreless in the second and third quarters."

The Lady Vikings were also able to hold big guns Shawna Gibb and Stephanie Mifflins to a combined 15 points.

The Mabton girls (5-4, 12-5) will play Bickleton Friday night and Riverside Christian Saturday. Both league games will be away. The final game of the season will be a league match-up against Sunnyside Christian in Mabton Tuesday, Feb. 8.

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