Due to a power outage at Mabton High School this past Friday the Vikings' home game against the Eagles was moved to Connell. It didn't matter as the Vikings beat the Eagles 60-53 on Friday night and then walloped the Wahluke Warriors 68-25 on Saturday.
"This was a tough physical game for us," Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood said of the Connell match-up. "Connell is a big, strong team and the officials let the game get very rough. I am proud of our kids. We stepped up and showed some toughness."
The Vikings used that toughness to grab a four-point lead for most of the first quarter. Connell's Matt Hadley hit a deep 3-pt. shot at the end of the quarter to cut Mabton's lead to one point, 12-11.
Mabton continued to build a lead against the Eagles and then exploded when Josh Strickland hit two 3-pt. plays, with Kristian Carrasco following by hitting a 3-pt. shot to give Mabton a 13-point lead. The Vikings led 32-19 at halftime.
Ledgerwood said the Vikings held a double-digit lead for most of the second half. They did this by pounding the ball inside to their big men, Josh Sanchez and Carmen Johnson. Johnson had 10 of the 13 points Mabton scored in the third.
The Eagles tried to rally at the end of the fourth by hitting three 3-pt. shots in the last two minutes of play. Mabton was able to hold Connell at bay with Carrasco going 5-for-6 from the free throw line in the final quarter.
Carrasco led Mabton with 22 points, five assists and four steals. Johnson finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Josh Sanchez had 12 points and six rebounds. Strickland finished with nine points. Roman Chavez and Joe Gutierrez each added three points.
Connell was led by Kade Eppich with 21 points and seven rebounds. Matt Hadley added 12 points.
On Saturday the Vikings played Wahluke, destroying the Warriors 68-25.
"We were able to dominate this game defensively from the opening tip and kept it up throughout the night," Ledgerwood said. "Our defense was the key and we finished with rebounds."
Mabton opened up a 21-8 first quarter lead and then added to that in the second to lead 46-16 at halftime.
Wahluke shot just 25 percent from the field in the game and Mabton shot at a 47 percent clip. The Vikings out hustled the Warriors on the glass, grabbing 32 rebounds to just 19 for Wahluke.
The Vikings outscored Wahluke 22-9 in the second half.
"I am happy with the intensity from our kids," Ledgerwood said. "Wahluke can be a tough place to play, especially after a long road trip and rough game the night before. We came out of the locker room with intensity and held it throughout."
Carrasco again led the Vikings with 20 points and four assists. Sanchez had 12 points and six rebounds. Strickland finished with 11 points and five rebounds. Johnson added six points. Chavez finished with six points and four assists.
Wahluke was led by Jared Sabin with 11 points and Pedro Acevedo with eight points and five rebounds.
Mabton (6-0, 11-3) is now halfway through its season. The Vikings will host Columbia-Burbank on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m.