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Lady Vikes take the sizzle out of Lightning

The Mabton girls basketball team this past weekend split its games against LaSalle and Granger, defeating the Lightning 56-52 on Friday and losing 54-42 to the Spartans on Saturday.

Mabton Coach Chris McCallum said, “It felt good going into this game (against LaSalle).”

He said the Lady Vikes executed their game plan.

“They handled the pressure and we came away with a big win,” said McCallum.

LaSalle, he said, did not lose easily. The Lightning beat the Lady Vikes on the boards, getting a few more second looks at the basket in the opening quarter for a 16-10 lead.

But, Mabton made a few adjustments to bring the game to within two points at intermission (31-29).

“We knew they (the Lightning) would come out and play hard at the start of the third quarter,” McCallum said.

The game was back-and-forth, but LaSalle outscored Mabton 13-9 in that stanza.

The Lady Vikings rallied in the final quarter “…and took charge.”

McCallum said the defense made a significant difference in the final quarter, beating the Lightning to the boards.

“Then we attacked the basket and got fouled, making our free throws down the stretch,” he said, noting Mabton was 11-for-13 at the charity stripe in the final stanza.

Irene Pineda led the Lady Vikings with 23 points. Teammate Desanay Guerrero tallied 17 points.

It was Alyssa Nash that collected a total of 10 rebounds for Mabton.

LaSalle’s Emma Sutton recorded 28 points on Friday.

Saturday’s game against Granger was a little more difficult for the Lady Vikes.

“Sometimes after a big win you have a little bit of a meltdown and that’s exactly what happened,” said McCallum.

He said Mabton played really hard against LaSalle, and left it all on the court. Saturday’s game came at 11 a.m., and Mabton hadn’t recovered from the night before.

“Granger came out and jumped on us in the first (quarter),” McCallum said of the Spartans’ early 19-4 lead.

He said Granger had the momentum, scored some good shots and capitalized on the Lady Vikings’ “…sloppy play.”

Mabton continued to falter, coughing up the ball for turnover after turnover. “It was mental mistakes on our part,” said McCallum.

The Lady Vikings kept the Spartans to just four points in the second quarter, but were only able to add eight points to their own score.

In the third and fourth quarters, the game was looking a little better. Mabton scored 30 points, but the effort was not enough to overcome Granger’s early lead. Granger scored 22 points in the final stanza to secure a 54-42 victory.

“I’ll tell you one thing…there’s not quit in them (the Lady Vikes),” McCallum said of the final half.

“To be a great team, we have to learn to put that big win behind us fairly quick,” he said.

Leading the Lady Vikings against Granger was Nash with 23 points.

Mabton tomorrow (Tuesday) will host Zillah.

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