MABTON - The style of basketball that Coach Mike Roettger displayed for Lady Viking fans last night isn't what they'll be seeing the rest of this season.
"We were missing four of our kids," Roettger said of last night's season opening jamboree in the Mabton gym.
The absence of those girls, because of illness or lack of practices, forced Roettger to take on Granger and Liberty Christian without the benefit of a true post player.
"Basically," he chuckled, "we were playing with five guards on the floor, none of them hardly bigger than five feet, three inches tall.
"That forced us to play the kids out of position. The positive that came out of that is that these kids, I think, gained a true appreciation for what some of the other girls on the team are going through in game situations."
Despite the smaller line-up, Mabton held its own against both Granger and Liberty Christian.
Opening the jamboree against the Spartans, Mabton fell behind by an 11-3 score in the opening five-minute half. The Lady Vikes limited Granger to just two points in the second half, however, and were able to cut the deficit to 13-8 by the time the final horn sounded.
Italia Mengarelli led the Spartans with a game high six points. Mabton was powered by junior Ana Jimenez, who pumped in a team high five points. Sisters Debbie and Brisi Enriquez chipped in a combined three points to close out the scoring for the Lady Vikes.
"With Granger being a league opponent, we didn't show them much of anything they'll be seeing from us later," said Roettger.
"I told our kids not to get bummed about the loss, to keep their heads high," he added.
Game two for Mabton Tuesday evening yielded a different result, as the Lady Vikes and Liberty Christian played to a 12-12 stand-off.
The Patriots feature a line-up that includes two girls just a couple inches short of six feet tall. Normally, said Roettger, the Liberty Christian coach deploys a zone defense, but last night he elected to go man all the way.
Roettger switched gears, as well, deciding to abandon his man-coverage and stay in zone.
"We didn't do too badly with our zone coverage," said Roettger, "Although we did miss a few rotations."
Each club scored six points in both the first and second half, and being a jamboree no overtime session was held. Anna Bourgeois led the Patriots with a team high four points, while Mabton was again led by Jimenez, who tossed in a game high seven points. Also scoring for the Lady Vikings was junior Kayla Campbell, who knocked down five points.
Mabton opens the regular season next Tuesday, Dec. 4, at home against Riverside Christian.