MABTON - An extremely effective box-and-one defense on Riverside Christian's Madison Hahn allowed the Mabton High School girls basketball team to claim a 56-47 victory in the Lady Vikings' season opener last night.
Hahn, a junior who averaged 19 points as a freshman but had to sit out her sophomore year because of a back injury, was limited to just one point Tuesday evening.
"We boxed-and-oned her," said Mabton Coach Mike Roettger.
"Trishi Williams and Debbie Enriquez did a fantastic job of denying her the ball," he said.
The Lady Vikings snuck out to an 11-6 first quarter lead, then erupted for 21 points in the second period to forge a 32-19 halftime lead. Mabton looked to have the game socked away when the club went up by a 54-26 score with two minutes gone in the final quarter. But the Crusaders inched their way back into the non-league contest riding the hot shooting of Sarah Hawk, Amy Van Beek and Denise Byrne, who together combined for 43 points in the game.
"We manhandled Riverside for 26 minutes," said Roettger, "But they ended up cutting our lead down to nine.
"We got lackadaisical.
"We have to learn to play for 32 minutes."
In defense of his club, Roettger said his girls don't yet have their "game legs."
"It was our first game of the season. Riverside Christian was playing their third game of the year. Our conditioning will get there," he promised.
Scoring-wise for Mabton, three girls hit double-digits, including junior Ana Jimenez, who pumped in a game high 18 points. Jimenez drained both of the 3-points Mabton had in the game.
Also in double figures for the Lady Vikes were the senior Enriquez, who drilled a career high 15 points, and the junior Williams, who canned 12.
Last night's loss dropped the 2B Crusaders below the .500 mark, to 1-2 on the season.
Mabton's girls return to their non-league schedule this coming Friday and Saturday, first at Ki-Be and then home against Riverview.
R'side Christ. 6 13 7 21 -47
Mabton 11 21 16 8 -56
FG-R'side Christian 14/35, Mabton 20/58. 3-PT. FG-R'side Christ. 1/6 (Byrne), Mabton 2/8 (Jimenez 2). FT-R'side Christ. 8/11, Mabton 11/22. RBD.-R'side Christ. 40, Mabton 35 (Tellez 13). TO-R'side Christ. 28, Mabton 17.
Riverside Christian: S. Hawk 16, A. Van Beek 15, D. Byrne 12.
Mabton: C. Reynolds 3, D. Enriquez 15, K. Campbell 5, M. Tellez 0, A. Jimenez 18, M. Gutierrez 3, T. Williams 12, Rocha 0, Martinez 0.