Nobody was asking for their money back Saturday night after watching the 1A Mabton and 1B Sunnyside Christian girls basketball teams slug it out.
The epic, back-and-forth struggle eventually went the host Lady Knights’ way, 65-64. Saturday’s win, coupled with a dominating 65-20 victory over Riverside Christian the previous night, boosted Sunnyside Christian’s record to 3-0 on the young 2013-14 campaign.
For Mabton’s Lady Vikings, who easily got by Riverview on Friday via a 62-33 decision, the one-point loss on Saturday was their first defeat in four outings this season.
At the end of Saturday’s non-league contest it was anyone’s game. Sunnyside Christian, clinging to a one-point lead with just over a minute left on the clock, put up a shot but it was off the mark. Katelyn Banks swooped in, however, grabbed the loose ball and scored on a putback, upping the Lady Knights’ lead to 65-62.
On the ensuing possession Mabton’s girls drove the length of the court but play was halted when Sunnyside Christian got whistled for a foul. That sent Irene Pineda to the free throw line. With just a single point to her credit up to that point, Pineda calmly drained both shots to draw Mabton to within 65-64.
Mabton Coach Chris McCallum quickly switched up defensive coverages and it paid dividends when Cassidy McCallum came up with her second steal of the game. The Lady Vikings ran the clock down to 12 seconds and called a timeout to set up the game-winning play.
“We set a play to try to get (Alyssa) Nash to the basket,” said the Mabton coach. “But I’m pretty sure that’s what Coach Smeenk thought we were going to do, as they packed everyone inside.”
Nash, who had team-bests of both 34 points and nine rebounds on Saturday, followed the script and drove the lane. Sunnyside Christian reacted quickly and plugged the gaps.
“Nothing was there,” said Coach McCallum, so “…she kicked the ball out to Pineda.
“Irene had a great look with about five seconds on the clock, hoisted a three-point shot and from where I was I thought it was going in,” he said.
Unfortunately for the visitors the ball rimmed out and Sunnyside Christian’s Kristen Broersma, only a freshman, came down with the rebound, her 10th of the game, to secure the one-point victory for her club.
In slipping past Mabton by the narrowest of margins, Sunnyside Christian used its height to get the job done. All told, the Lady Knights scooped up 16 loose balls off the offensive glass, converting those rebounds into 28 second-chance points.
Along with Kristen Broersma’s 10 rebounds, Sunnyside Christian got a 10-board effort from Annie Brouwer, as well as Brittany Broersma’s eight-rebound performance.
“Mabton is always tough,” said SCHS Coach Al Smeenk. “They work extremely hard.”
Mabton was able to go tit-for-tat with the Lady Knights because of its quickness and speed. With Nash, Pineda, McCallum and Desanay Guerrero combining for 11 of the team’s 12 steals, the Lady Vikings forced Sunnyside Christian into coughing up the ball 19 times.
“We also used our speed to get them into some early foul trouble,” said Coach McCallum.
Smeenk said two of his players got whistled for a fourth foul in the opening half.
“We were doing OK until we got into foul trouble,” Smeenk said.
Besides the 34 points Nash had in the losing cause, Mabton got double-digit scoring performances from Guerrero and McCallum with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Smeenk said Nash played a whale of a game for Mabton. “She penetrated well and made us get into foul trouble.”
Sunnyside Christian put forth a well balanced attack on offense, as four different players scored in double figures. They included the two Broersma girls – Kristen with 15 points and Brittany with 13, Brouwer with 12 and Micki Williams with 11 points.
In Mabton’s dominating 62-33 victory at home against Riverview last Friday, Nash again set the pace offensively for the winners. She tossed in a game-high 19 points, making 4-of-8 from 3-point range and 5-of-7 from the foul line.
Pineda added a 17-point outburst against Riverview, connecting on 5-of-6 shots from two-point range. Guerrero chipped in 12 points for the winners.
“It was a really good team win for the girls – great effort and hustle all night,” Coach McCallum said of the victory against Riverview.
“Full court pressure really set the tone early,” he continued, noting his club jumped out to a 16-4 first-quarter lead. “We didn’t look back after that.”
Mabton plays at LaSalle this coming Tuesday, then hosts Granger on Saturday of this week.
Mabton 14 17 16 17 -64
SCHS 16 19 12 18 -65
2-PT FG – Mabton 15/38 (Guerrero 7/9, Nash 8/17), Sunnyside Christian 24/39 (Banks 4/4, B. Broersma 6/8, K. Broersma 6/8, Van Belle 3/5). 3-PT FG – Mabton 7/18 (C. McCallum 3/3, Nash 4/7), Sunnyside Christian 2/7 (Williams 2/4). FT – Mabton 13/25 (Pineda 3/4, C. McCallum 2/2, Nash 6/13), Sunnyside Christian 11/20 (Brouwer 6/10, K. Broersma 3/5). RBD – Mabton 26 (Nash 9, Guerrero 6), Sunnyside Christian 39 (K. Broersma 10, Brouwer 10, B. Broersma 8). TO – Mabton 5, Sunnyside Christian 19.
Mabton – Pineda 3, R. McCallum 0, C. McCallum 11, Nash 34, Villalobos 0, Zaragoza 0, Espinoza 0, Rojas 2, Guerrero 14
Sunnyside Christian – Williams 11, Harrington 0, Brouwer 12, Dalrymple 0, Banks 8, B. Broersma 13, Van Belle 6, K. Broersma 15