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Coyotes ice Mabton Vikes

BURBANK - Much like the freezing weather outside, the Mabton Viking boys basketball team experienced a cold shooting night this past Saturday in a 43-35 loss at Columbia-Burbank.

After building a 10-6 first quarter lead, Mabton shot 17 percent from the field and could not get on track.

The host Coyotes weren't exactly blistering the nets, either, but managed to outscore Mabton 7-1 in the second stanza to go up 13-11 at the half.

"The first half neither team could make a basket," said Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood. "We didn't get a chance to practice for a couple of days and that might have been why we couldn't score."

The Vikes also hurt their cause on Saturday with 27 turnovers.

While Mabton struggled from the field, Columbia-Burbank finally found a shooting touch in the third quarter and posted a 20-to-9 run to go up by double digits heading into the fourth quarter.

"They came out and executed and made their shots," Ledgerwood said of the Coyotes' pivotal third quarter surge. "We didn't play great defense in the second half and continued to shoot horribly."

Columbia-Burbank was sparked in the third frame by Justin McBride, who scored seven of his nine points in the quarter.

The Coyotes were led for the night by Nathan Roberts with 16 points, 14 of them in the second half.

"Once he got going he kind of took over," Ledgerwood said of Roberts.

Josh Sanchez and Lorenzo Sanchez paced Mabton with 13 points each. Lorenzo Sanchez also climbed the ladder for a team-high nine rebounds. "Lorenzo had a good game rebounding and putting the ball back in," Ledgerwood said.

Overall, though, the coach said his team struggled in the paint.

"We got killed on the boards, outrebounded by 20 or 21 rebounds," Ledgerwood said. "The frustrating thing is Columbia-Burbank is smaller than we are, but they outworked us on the boards."

Mabton (5-2, 6-9) will look to bounce back from Saturday's loss with a key home contest against Royal tomorrow night, Tuesday. The Vikes are just a half-game ahead of the Knights in the battle for second place in the SCAC East.

A home game for Mabton against Riverview canceled last Friday night due to bad weather has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31. Ledgerwood said the contest will serve as the Vikings' senior night.

The coach is confident his players will respond to the challenge tomorrow night.

"They've proven they can get it done, we've just got to get back to work and execute," he said.

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