It was a tale of stops and starts for the Mabton boys hoop team with a strong start and win last Friday over visiting Cle Elum, and just the opposite last Saturday in a loss at Goldendale.
On Friday the Vikes opened with a 15-4 first quarter lead and held on for a 56-41 win over the Warriors.
"We got off to a good start and everything was working," Coach Brock Ledgerwood said of Mabton's first win in SCAC play.
That's not to say Cle Elum didnt rally, as the Warriors did just that by pulling within six points in the fourth quarter.
"Many games this year weve been inconsistent but we responded really well," Ledgerwood said of holding off Cle Elum. The Vikes ended up with a 19-10 fourth quarter surge to close out strong.
Alex Reyna drilled a career high seven 3-pointers to lead Mabton with 28 points. Lorenzo Sanchez tallied a double-double for Mabton with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Keeping the Viking attack on track were Luis Ruiz and Roy Zavala with five assists each to go with six and five points, respectively. "Those guys did a good job setting up their teammates," said Ledgerwood.
Aaron Fogelberg paced Cle Elum with 13 points.
It was an opposite scenario Saturday, as the Timberwolves jumped out to a 19-9 first quarter lead and never looked back in a 52-38 win.
Behind nine first-half points by Reyna, Mabton battled to within single digits - 28-19 - at the half.
Goldendale pretty much took over the game from there, though, using a 14-6 run in the third frame to pull away.
Ledgerwood gave a nod to the Timberwolves' defense for disrupting the Vikes and holding them to under 40 points for the game.
"Goldendale was physical with us and that caused us to back down and make some mistakes," the coach said.
Reyna, held without a point in the second half, shared team-high scoring honors with Zavala, who also recorded four assists. Mabton reserve Adrian Gutierrez climbed the ladder for a team-high seven rebounds. "He gave us good energy off the bench," Ledgerwood said.
Lucas Denney led Goldendale with 17 points.
Mabton (1-6, 3-10) plays LaSalle this coming Friday at the West Valley frosh gym, then tussles with rival Granger in the SunDome this Saturday.
Ledgerwood said Saturday's tilt at the dome will count as a home league contest for Mabton. As part of a two-year agreement, the Vikes and Spartans will meet in the SunDome again next season. That contest will count as a Granger home league game.
Ledgerwood said the idea is to give his squad some exposure to the SunDome hardwood. The Yakima courts host the 1A State basketball tourney.
Mabton High School is pre-selling tickets to the game against Granger in the SunDome. Ledgerwood said MHS will receive a portion of proceeds from tickets it sells ahead of time.
The coach noted this week's games are crucial because they mark the start of second-half league play in the SCAC.
"We're 1-6 in league half-way through and we need to get some wins and get back in the postseason race," Ledgerwood said.