MABTON - The Mabton Viking boys basketball team shook off season-opening jitters to earn a split during its home jamboree last night, Tuesday.
Mabton opened the jamboree, which featured non-regulation 20-minute contests, with a 15-7 victory over Liberty Christian.
"We played fairly well for our first game," said Coach Brock Ledgerwood. "A lot of rust and nervousness resulted in some lapses that hurt us, but I was happy with our teamwork in the first game."
Josh Sanchez paced Mabton in the first game with nine points, followed by Luis Ruiz with four points.
In the second game Mabton played SCAC foe Kiona-Benton in an 18-16 loss decided at the final buzzer when a Sanchez three-point attempt for the win just missed.
"We really upped the intensity defensively, which resulted in much better play all around," said Ledgerwood.
The coach noted his team was down to six players due to early season eligibility issues.
Ledgerwood praised the leadership of Sanchez, Mabton's only returning starter. "He showed he will be a force to reckon with all year."
He also noted the rebounding and defensive hustle provided by Josh Carrasco. "He brings a great intensity to the court every time he gets out there," said Ledgerwood.
The Vikings return to action this Friday against Granger at the SunDome Showdown in Yakima. On Saturday Mabton will host White Swan.