The Mabton Vikings stayed undefeated in league play this past weekend with wins against Royal City and Ki-Be.
Mabton beat Royal City 56-31 on Friday night.
"Royal is a tall and athletic team that caused us some problems shooting the ball," Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood said. ""They are long and a bit awkward defensively and that caused us to alter and hurry our shots inside."
The Vikings were able to consistently attack Royal's zone defense but couldn't get the ball to fall. Still, Mabton was able to build a 29-18 lead at halftime.
This was due in part to the rebounding effort of the Vikings.
"I was very happy with our effort against a much taller team on the boards, especially offensively as we were able to grab 14 offensive rebounds."
Ledgerwood said Carmen Johnson and Roman Chavez combined to grab 10 of the 14 offensive rebounds the Vikings pulled down Friday night. On the defensive side, Ledgerwood said Mabton used tough team defense to force Royal City into turnovers and bad shots.
"Being able to hold them to single digits in all four quarters is a tough task to do at this level," Ledgerwood added. "We picked up our defensive intensity and finished off possessions with rebounds."
Mabton was led by Kristian Carrasco with 20 points. Johnson scored eight points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Royal City was led by Reed Lefler with eight points. Danny Vermeer and Kent Christensen each scored seven points for the Knights.
On Saturday Mabton traveled to Benton City where the Vikings beat Ki-Be 69-58.
"Free throws turned out to be the difference in this game as we came through with our best free throw shooting performance of the year," Ledgerwood said.
The Vikings shot 19-of-22 from the charity stripe, including going 9-for-9 in the fourth quarter.
Ki-Be led 18-16 after the first quarter but the Vikings managed to come back and lead 34-33 at halftime. Mabton then outscored Ki_Be 22-12 in the third quarter and used clutch free throw shooting in the fourth to seal the win.
Carrasco led the Vikings with 23 points, including five 3-point baskets. He surpassed 1,000 points for his career. Josh Sanchez finished with 16 points for Mabton and teammate Josh Strickland added 11 points.
Ki-Be was led by Hayden Wing with 14 points and Christian Aguilar with 13.
"We are off to a solid start," Ledgerwood said of his 8-3 team (4-0 in league). "We have put ourselves into position to control our own destiny by starting 4-0 in league while the rest of the league is beating each other up."
Mabton will host Zillah on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 7:30 p.m.