MABTON - It was a close game between the Mabton Lady Vikes and Kiona-Benton last night, but it was the visiting Bears who earned the win, 48-42.
"It was a good game, but we had our ups and downs," said Mabton Coach Chris McCallum.
He said his team is still trying to find its identity, "...still working some bugs out."
The non-league game was just the second of the season and everyone is still fresh. McCallum said the Lady Vikings (0-2) played better against Kiona-Benton than they did in the SunDome last Saturday, so he is already noticing some improvement.
"We rebounded better and our transition defense is getting better," he said.
The Mabton girls grabbed the ball from the glass 41 times and allowed the Bears to snatch the ball from the boards just 24 times.
The Lady Vikings had an early two-point lead by the end of the opening quarter, 9-7.
Ki-Be battled back in the second quarter and had a 20-18 advantage at the half.
In the third stanza, the Bears gained a greater advantage, scoring 16 points and holding the Lady Vikes to just six points.
Attempting to overcome a 24-point deficit, Mabton caused the Bears to turn the ball over six times in the final quarter. Ki-Be also committed nine fouls in the quarter.
The Lady Vikings dropped in 18 points, while the Bears scored 12 in the final stanza. That wasn't enough, however, for Mabton and Ki-Be earned the victory.
Lady Vike Mia Herrera was responsible for a three-point shot that made it through the net in the final seconds of the game, to make the score 45-42.
Mabton fouled a Ki-Be player and the Bears converted at the line, creating a five-point margin between the two team scores.
"We missed a shot and had to foul again and they converted one of two to make it the final 48-42," said McCallum.
The leading Lady Vike scorer was Irene Pineda. She was the only member of the team to hit double digits with 14 points. Herrera scored nine points.
A truly stand-out performance was made by Mabton's Deanay Guerrero, who snatched the ball from the glass 24 times. Of those boards, 18 were on the offensive glass to give the Lady Vikes second chance scoring opportunities.
Kiona-Benton had two players the Lady Vikes couldn't easily shut down, Abby Pendergast and Bailey Schroeder. Pendergast scored 18 points and Schroeder tallied 16.
"We continued to struggle from the foul line," said McCallum, noting the team was just 14-for-31 from the charity stripe.
He said the team is attacking the rim, but the effort isn't converting into points.
Mabton will be busy working on its free throw shots during practice.
The Lady Vikings will this coming Friday travel to Riverview and on Saturday will host Sunnyside Christian. Both games are non-league match-ups.