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Vikings lose in 1A District championship game

MATTAWA - Mabton's incredible run through the SCAC District tournament came to an end Saturday night in Mattawa as the Riverview Panthers beat the Vikings 57-42 in the title game.

"They came out hot and are a good shooting team," Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood said. "One kid hit a couple of three's and they executed their offense very well against us."

Riverview forced Mabton into some early turnovers with its press and the Panthers were able to score some easy baskets from that. After one quarter Riverview held an 18-10 lead.

"I felt we were playing too fast," Ledgerwood said. "They were able to get us out of control."

In the second quarter the Vikings were able to control the ball better and stopped the turnovers.

"We were able to attack the defense better," Ledgerwood explained.

Mabton had plenty of opportunities to cut into Riverview's lead but Ledgerwood said every time his team got close they would miss a shot or turn the ball over.

In the second quarter it was free throws that hurt Mabton. The Vikings were able to drive to the basket and draw the foul but shot only 5-for-12 from the free throw line in the quarter.

"That was pretty frustrating," Ledgerwood admitted.

With the score 29-21 at haltime, Mabton came out hot in the third quarter and scored a three point shot in the first 25 seconds. Unfortunately the Vikings could muster only four more points after that in the quarter and were down by 15 points to start the fourth.

"We missed some easy lay-ins and some jump shots we normally make," Ledgerwood said of his team's third quarter performance.

In the fourth quarter Mabton played its best of the night but they had dug too big of a hole in the first three quarters.

"The kids kept battling back," Ledgerwood said. "I was pretty proud of that."

Tyler Herrera led the Vikings with 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. He was followed by Eric Tellez with 10 points and five rebounds.

Nick Gaston led the Panthers with 20 points and teammate Mike Ledgerwood added 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Mabton will now move on to the 1A State tournament in Yakima. The Vikings' first game will be this Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 9 a.m. against Cashmere in the SunDome.

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