WHITE SWAN - The Mabton High School boys basketball team couldn't make it three in a row over White Swan, as the Vikings lost 65-44 last night to the Cougars in the first round of District tourney play.
Mabton knocked off the Cougars twice in regular season play to deal the SCAC West champs their only conference losses of the year.
The Tuesday night tilt started out tight, as Mabton and White Swan were tied 28-28 at the half.
But the third quarter proved the Vikes' undoing, as White Swan enjoyed a 16-2 run to put the game away.
"They wanted it more than we did," Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood summarized. "They came out and did the little things it takes to win."
The Vikings didn't help their cause with 28 turnovers and what Ledgerwood called a "one-on-one" style of basketball in the pivotal third quarter.
"They had more energy than us in the third quarter," Ledgerwood said of the Cougars. "They got up and down the court and played together as a team. We played one pass and shoot. We forgot to play team basketball."
The Vikings were led by Juventino Morfin with 13 points. Adrian Komaromy led White Swan with 21 points, 11 of them in the first quarter.
Mabton dropped to 9-13 overall with the first-round loss and now faces the familiar task of a loser-out contest this Friday in the consolation round of Districts. The Vikings will play Naches Valley at Highland High School on Friday at 3 p.m.
"We have to win two in a row to get to State," Ledgerwood said. If Mabton is successful this Friday, the Vikes will play again next Friday at the Highland High neutral court.