ROYAL CITY - After suffering a loss in its opening game of the season Monday, the Mabton Vikings fell for the second straight time, losing to the Royal City Knights 60-52 Tuesday evening.
Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood said his team's objective was to press in the first quarter.
"Once they broke our press we didn't transition well enough to our half-court defense," Ledgerwood explained.
Royal City's Joe Perkins, who scored 17 points on the night, hit three 3-point shots in the first quarter as the Knights built a 19-8 first quarter lead.
In the second quarter Mabton finally got its press going, which enabled them to get some baskets and more importantly, get their running game going.
The Vikings managed to close the deficit to nine points at halftime.
In the third quarter the Vikings again pressed and again it worked for them.
"We did a good job of just playing basketball in the third quarter," Ledgerwood said.
A 16-9 third quarter let Mabton get to within two points to start the fourth quarter.
Royal struck back with two quick baskets by Ryan Christensen. He would finish with 24 points for the night, with 11 of those points coming in the fourth quarter. He was able to stretch the Knights' lead to where Mabton couldn't come back.
"We had some opportunities in the fourth but couldn't capitalize on them," Ledgerwood added. "It didn't help that we shot 2-for-9 from the free throw line in the last quarter."
Eric Tellez led the Vikings with 14 points. Luis Quintero and Juventino Morfin each added 10 points for Mabton as well.
"We have to quit giving up 60 points a game," Ledgerwood said. "We have to get our defense playing better. That will help our offense on the other end."
Mabton (0-0, 0-2) will host Ki-Be this Friday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Vikings will travel to play Riverview High School at 6 p.m.