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Mabton falls to Chelan, season comes to an end

YAKIMA - The Mabton High School boys basketball team ended its run at State yesterday (Thursday) with a 73-47 loss to the Chelan Goats.

The loss gives the Vikings a record of 15-10 for the season.

Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood said he thought his team played hard and executed well for most of the game.

"Defensively we did a solid job of rebounding and limited dribble penetration," he said. "Chelan just shot the lights out."

The Goats shot a blistering 69 percent from the floor. The Vikings struggled to shoot 29 percent.

"Add to that 14 second half turnovers and 22 for the game and you're going to struggle," Ledgerwood explained.

Chelan led 16-10 after the first quarter, but Mabton cut the lead to four points at halftime and trailed 33-29.

The Vikings received a big break when Chelan's star Joe Harris (27 ppg and heading to Virginia on a basketball scholarship) fouled out with 5:30 to go in the third quarter.

"When their best player fouled out, our intensity dropped off," Ledgerwood said. "We felt that it would be an easier game, but Chelan has more weapons than Joe Harris and they stepped up."

The Goats pounded the ball into Matt Engstrom who took over the paint.

"That was the point that we also started to turn the ball over and it was our worst shooting period of the game," Ledgerwood added.

The Goats led 49-36 to start the fourth quarter and blew out the Vikings 24 to 11 in the final period to seal the win.

Mabton was led by Derrick Nash with 11 points and five rebounds. Kristian Carrasco added 10 points for Mabton and dished off three assists and recorded three steals.

Teammates Carmen Johnson and Tyler Herrera each had six points for Mabton. Jesus Huecias finished with five points. Vikings Josh Strickland and LeeTroy Rodriguez finished with three points apiece. Gilbert Garcia had two points and Josh Sanchez added one point for Mabton.

Chelan was led by Aaron McQuaid with 19 points. Engstrom finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Amsel added 17 points and dished off eight assists. Evan Reister scored 10 points for the Goats and Harris finished with eight points and four rebounds before fouling out in the third period.

"I am extremely proud of our kids," Ledgerwood said. "We went toe-to-toe with two of the best teams in the state and took their best shot. The final score does not indicate how hard we worked this week and this year."

The Vikings will lose seven seniors from the team this year but Ledgerwood said most of his starters are coming back. Guards Carrasco and Huecias, plus forwards Sanchez and Johnson, are expected to be back next year.

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