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Vikes upset by Burbank in playoff opener

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Mabton's Kristian Carrasco looks for a way to dish the ball to a teammate along the baseline during last night's playoff game, as Columbia-Burbank's Trevor Lott keeps a hand up on defense. Carrasco went on to tally 16 points for the Vikings, while Lott chipped in 11 for the Coyotes

MABTON - Home court wasn't enough to help Mabton to the SCAC District semifinals, as visiting Columbia-Burbank clung to an early lead in a 67-65 win over the Vikings last night.

Thursday night's first-round District playoff game between SCAC West second seed Mabton and SCAC East third seed Columbia-Burbank went the Coyotes' way from the outset.

After taking a 15-12 first-quarter lead, Burbank went up by as much as six in the second quarter before Mabton rallied with seven straight points - sparked by a Frankie Smith three-pointer - to grab a one-point lead.

With the game tied late in the first half, the Vikings' move to take the air out of the ball in the final minute backfired as Burbank converted a steal into a bucket the other way and a 28-26 lead at the half.

Things were still nip and tuck into the third quarter before the Coyotes grabbed control.

"Burbank made a big run the last three minutes of the third quarter to take a lead that they would never give up," said Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood.

The end result was a 21-12 run for the Coyotes and a double digit, 49-38, lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Mabton responded with one more charge in the fourth quarter to make it a game.

"Late in the fourth quarter, we did a better job of pressuring on defense and attacking their zone," Ledgerwood said. "That along with some timely three-point shooting from Frankie Smith got us back into the game."

Mabton narrowed the gap, but couldn't climb all the way back.

"We missed on multiple opportunities that would have changed the outcome," Ledgerwood said. "We had some missed baskets near the hoop, missed rebounds and loose balls that we must have if we are to come from behind and win."

Smith led Mabton with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from behind the arc. Kristian Carrasco added 16 and J.T. Reynolds 11 points for the Vikes.

Neal Shuck led the Coyotes with 22 points.

"Last night was a night of missed opportunities," Ledgerwood said of Mabton's lost chance to advance to the District semifinals. "We gave up way too many points for a home playoff game. Burbank beat us up and down the court, executed their offense well and did the little things right."

Speaking of little things, Ledgerwood said Mabton will have to take care of business tomorrow, Saturday, when the Vikings face SCAC East number one seed Connell - also upset last night - in a 2 p.m. loser out game at Riverview High School.

It's either win or go home, now, for Mabton. The Vikes (16-5) beat Connell by 16 points earlier in the season, but had also defeated Burbank earlier this season before losing to the Coyotes last night.

"It is the time of year when little things mean so much on the court, such as taking charges and getting on the floor after loose balls," Ledgerwood said. "Those things not only can get you a few extra possessions, but give the extra emotional boost that so often is needed.

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