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Vikings get two wins heading into important weekend

Alex Zavala and A.J. Valencia had a field day this past weekend for the Mabton High School boys basketball team.

Combined, the two Vikings scored 83 of Mabton's 127 points in victories over Yakama Tribal and Glenwood.

The Vikings hosted Tribal Friday night, overcoming a lackluster third quarter to win 54-42. The following night Mabton traveled to Glenwood, defeating the Eagles 73-62.

Friday night's game started out nice for Mabton, as the Vikings outscored Tribal 16-7. Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood said his team started out pretty hot, with Valencia draining a couple of 3-pointers.

"Defensively, we took everything they like to do away from them," said Ledgerwood.

Tribal, which has dramatically improved this season when compared with years past, tightened down the screws defensively in the second quarter, limiting the Vikings to just 8 points.

"They (Tribal) toughened up their defense in the second quarter," said Ledgerwood." We didn't shoot quite as well as we had been."

The third quarter didn't prove any better. Ledgerwood said his team came out in the second half flat in both games over the weekend. Ledgerwood said he wasn't quite sure of why that happened.

Tribal got off some nice shots in the third quarter, as the Eagles outscored the Vikings 15-8. Tribal whittled down Mabton's eight-point lead to two late in the third.

Mabton fought back with a 21-15 burst in the fourth quarter to win the game.

Zavala was amazing in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 of his game-high 26 points in the period. Zavala also had 13 rebounds against Tribal.

"He was aggressive the whole game," Ledgerwood said of Zavala. "He did a really good job of attacking their zone."

The following night at Glenwood, the Vikings never really seemed in any danger of losing what was a closely played game.

Valencia and Zavala had 24 and 23 points, respectively, for the Vikings Saturday night.

"A.J. and Alex were able to penetrate," said Ledgerwood. "They did a good job of attacking the basket."

Glenwood was never able to cut into the 17-12 first quarter lead the Vikings built.

Ledgerwood said the problem for Mabton Saturday night was the Vikings weren't able to finish their defensive sets.

Mabton (9-1, 16-1) travels to Bickleton Friday night and then to Yakima on Saturday for a crucial game against Riverside Christian.

"If we can get Riverside, we will at least lock up second place (in the Greater Columbia 'B' League northern division)," said Ledgerwood.

1 2 3 4 T

Tribal 7 6 15 15 42

Mabton 16 8 8 21 54

Scoring: Mabton-Alex Zavala 26 (18 in the fourth quarter), A.J. Valencia 10, Ryan Harris 6, Eric Tellez 5, Ricardo Mejia 4, Ruben Mejia 3.

Tribal-Drew Payer 10, Derek Payer 8.

Rebounds: Alex Zavala 13.

Assists: Pedro Huecias 4.

1 2 3 4 T

Mabton 17 12 23 21 73

Glenwood 12 12 19 19 62

Scoring: Mabton-A.J. Valencia 24, Alex Zavala 23, Andy Rodriguez 11, Eric Tellez 8, Ricardo Mejia 4, Claro Calzada 2, Pedro Huecias 1.

Glenwood-David Hoodentyle 20 (16 in the second half), Tony Leiter 17.

Rebounds: Andy Rodriguez 8.

Assists: Pedro Huecias 6.

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