Mabton girls earn Regional berth

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Mabton's Alida Mendoza leaves a LaSalle girl behind her as she drives down the court this past Friday afternoon.

After falling big to LaSalle last Friday afternoon 56-30, it would have been easy for the Mabton girls basketball team to roll over and bow out of the District tournament.

The team had earned its first District tournament berth in 20 years, the season was a success.

But Mabton Coach Mike Roettger wanted his girls to come out and play with intensity on Saturday, and that's just what they did.

Mabton beat Klickitat 64-38 this past Saturday to earn a berth to the Regional tournament this coming weekend in Ellensburg.

"That's exactly where we wanted to be," Roettger said.

The loss to LaSalle on Friday didn't come as a shock to Roettger, who said the team is likely the third best in the area, behind Eisenhower and East Valley.

"I think everybody agrees they're just that talented," he said of the LaSalle players.

Against the Lightning, no Mabton players managed to reach double figures in the scoring column.

Ana Jimenez and Trishi Williams both came close, dropping in 8 points apiece.

Erica Sanchez dropped in 6 points, while Alida Mendoza scored 4 and Anna Montelongo rounded out the scoring with 2 on the night.

"Their presence just weighs on you," said Roettger of the LaSalle defense.

The lopsided loss set up a match-up with Klickitat for the No. 3 seed to the Regional tournament.

Roettger's girls came out Saturday a bit sluggish and only led by six points going into the lockerroom at halftime.

"We weren't too excited about being up six at halftime," Roettger said.

The third quarter proved to be the difference maker for the Vikings as Roettger's team outscored the Vandals 27-7 in the third behind an 11-point third quarter from Ana Jimenez. She finished the game with 13 points.

"We just settled down," Roettger said.

Mabton's Alida Mendoza ended the game with a triple-double, as she dropped in 17 points, dished out 11 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Anna Montelongo also had a double-double, scoring 10 and pulling down 12 rebounds.

"All the kids played well that game," Roettger said.

As the No. 3 seed to the Regional tournament, Mabton now waits to see who its opponent will be. The Lady Vikings will play the loser of the Bridgeport-Entiat game.

Roettger said it's likely his team will play Bridgeport at 3:30 this Friday in Ellensburg. If Mabton loses either Friday or Saturday, its season will be over.



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