MABTON – In a see-saw contest that saw both teams enjoy big runs, it was the Mabton Viking basketball team that finished on top in a 55-47 home win over Cle Elum last Friday.
Things started on a good note for Mabton with a 14-6 first-quarter lead over the Warriors. However, Cle Elum used a 32-18 run over the second and third quarters to grab a 38-32 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
It was at that moment Mabton caught its second wind to the tune of a blistering 23-9 run in the fourth quarter to earn the victory.
“We started out well, getting stops defensively and turning those into some easy baskets,” Mabton Coach Brock Ledgerwood said of the contest’s ebb and flow. “In the second quarter we did not execute offensively and turned the ball over.”
Ledgerwood said more turnovers and poor execution also hurt the Vikes in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Cle Elum’s Matt Dillenger scored 11 of his points in the third to help the Warriors pull ahead.
The coach said it was defense that got Mabton back into the game in the fourth frame, along with timely free throw shooting. Roy Zavala and Luis Ruiz were key for the Vikes, hitting eight of their nine free throw attempts in the final quarter on the way to 20-of-26 shooting at the charity stripe for the game.
Zavala had game-high scoring honors with 29 points to go with four steals, while Ruiz tallied 14 points and hauled down four rebounds.
Angel Diaz had a nice all-around game for the Vikes with 6 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.
Dalton Hawk and Dillenger shared team-high honors for the Warriors with 15 points each.
Mabton was scheduled to play at Goldendale last Saturday, but the contest was postponed due to the weather. The game was scheduled to be made up today, Monday, but has been canceled again due to poor weather. The game will not be made up as it would have no bearing on the final SCAC standings.
Mabton ends the 2013-14 season with a league mark of 5-8 and an overall record of 7-12.