Mabton Vikings earn regional berths

Mabton’s Britnee Guerrero drives against Okanogan’s Alexis Jones during Saturday’s district title game.

Al Camp/Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle
Mabton’s Britnee Guerrero drives against Okanogan’s Alexis Jones during Saturday’s district title game.


Mabton’s Irene Pineda (1) and Okanogan’s Cayden Diefenbach reach out for a loose ball.

— The Mabton boys and girls basketball teams both advanced to this week’s loser-out regional round with victories at the district tournament.

Since losing its first match in the district tournament, the Vikings boys team was able to make it three wins in a row, getting past Lake Roosevelt in overtime 91-86 Saturday to claim the Central Washington 2B League’s third and final seed for regionals.

Mabton came out strong in the opening quarter with an 8-point lead over the Raiders. The Vikings were up 42-31 at the half.

“We seemed to almost score at will, Roy (Zavala) and Isaiah (Sanchez) were picking them apart driving to the hoop and hitting from outside,” coach Brock Ledgerwood said.

Despite the Vikings forcing turnovers they would struggle to capitalize on them, taking tough shots. Mabton also struggled rebounding against the taller Roosevelt team.

“We caused lots of problems with our zone press, leading to a number of turnovers.. playing too fast, missing opportunities to score,” Ledgerwood said.

Things would take a turn in the last half of the game with the Raiders coming out of the break hot to cut the deficit to just four points heading into the final period. Lake Roosevelt then hit some key 3’s to make it a tie game and take it into overtime.

In overtime, Roosevelt picked up where it left off, scoring big and leading early on. But the Vikings got going and got a two-point lead with a minute to go.

After the Raiders squandered their chances to tie the game, the Mabton boys ran the clock down to less than 20 seconds left with Max Ruiz shooting a 3-pointer to take the lead to five in the closing moments.

It was Ruiz again who came in clutch to lay the game to rest after having made the buzzer beater earlier this week.

“We had to bring more guts to tonight’s game, battled a tough team in a physical game to get the victory, very proud of their determination,” Ledgerwood said.

Zavala and Sanchez had a combined 70 points. Zavala finished with 43 points and nine steals while Sanchez would go 5-9 from the 3-point line, getting 27 points and seven steals.

Chance Garvin had 32 points for the Raiders with 14 rebounds, his teammate Jake Palmer had 27 points and grabbed 22 boards.

The Vikings (17-7) secured the third seed and will play at regionals against Saint George’s at Mount Spokane High School at 2 p.m. this Saturday for an opportunity to advance to State.

The winner advances to the State 2B boys basketball tournament in Spokane next week.

In girls district tournament play, the Vikings fell 64-51 Saturday to the No. 1 team in the state, Okanogan.

Mabton advances to this Saturday’s regional game as the district’s second seed.

In the first quarter, the top-ranked Bulldogs outscored Mabton 18-4 on the way to a 34-13 lead at the half.

“It took the girls a half to adapt, and Okanogan is the No. 1 team in the state for a reason,” coach Chris McCallum said. “They played just like that in the first half.”

Coming out of the locker room, Mabton tried to turn things around and cut the lead by three in the third and by eight in the second half. The deficit proved to be too much to come back from, and the Vikings would eventually run out of time.

“We outworked them in the second half of the game and cut their 3-point shooting to zero,” McCallum said. “Our girls played with great effort and they (Okanogan) just shot really well... it’s something we’ll have to fix going forward.”

Irene Pineda was the leading scorer in the game with 27 points, Britnee Guerrero added 10 and Desenay Guerrero flirted with a double-double having 10 points and grabbing nine boards.

Jill Townsend led the Bulldogs in scoring with 24 points and had 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Mabton (20-3) will play Dayton at Eisenhower High School at 6 p.m. Friday for regionals, with the loser out and the winner heading to the State 1B girls basketball tournament in Spokane.


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