SEATTLE - Unable to break Napavine's 1-2-2 full-court press, the Mabton High School girls basketball team fell to the Tigers, 50-44, yesterday afternoon in the finals of a holiday hoop tournament hosted by Seattle Christian High School.
"We panicked against Napavine's press," said Mabton Coach Mike Roettger, noting that his club was forced into 20 turnovers in the opening half.
"It's like we had never seen a 1-2-2 press before. It's the same press we run."
The Tigers, a class 2B team, opened a 13-4 lead on 1A Mabton. The Lady Vikings fought back with a 14-9 run in the second quarter to cut the deficit to just four points at intermission.
Napavine pulled away in the third stanza, however, outscoring Mabton's girls 16-10.
But, the Lady Vikes refused to fold. Employing their own 1-2-2 press in the fourth quarter, Mabton got as close as three points. During that stretch, Mabton put together a 9-0 scoring spurt, keyed by a pair of 2-point baskets from both Ana Jimenez and Brisi Enriquez.
The Tigers rode the hot hands of Sarah Hilton, Lane Potter and Courtney May down the stretch, however, to eke out the 50-44 victory. Potter and May each finished with a team high 11 points for Napavine, with Hilton chipping in 10 points.
Mabton's top scorer was Jimenez with a game high 14 points. Crysta Reynolds and Kayla Campbell added eight and six points, respectively, for the Lady Vikes, with Enriquez and Trishi Williams each canning four points.
Mabton (0-2, 5-3) returns to the court on Saturday, Jan. 5, at home against the Cle Elum Warriors. Roettger describes the SCAC West match-up as a must-win affair for his club.
"We can't start out league play with three losses. It would be a big hole to climb out of. The Cle Elum game, we have to have that one," he said.