Swarming defense leads Mabton girls basketball over Friday Harbor | Prep Sports

YAKIMA — While the names have changed the past four seasons, there is one constant with those Mabton girls basketball teams.

Lots and lots of it — and not just some hard-nosed half-court pressure.

No, the Vikings thrive with what a Tonasket radio announcer described last Saturday, according to Mabton coach Chris McCallum, as “Gnats on fruit.”

Those “gnats” were back at again Saturday at Davis High School, and with their postseason lives on the line, the Vikings delivered what McCallum called one of their best defensive efforts of the season.

Forcing 35 turnovers, including 22 steals, Mabton all but shut down a frustrated Friday Harbor squad, sparking a 43-27 victory that sends the Vikings into the Class 2B knockout round Wednesday in Spokane.

“It’s all about effort. We wanted it,” said freshman Astrid Galarza, who also came off the bench to provide a crucial first-quarter offensive spark en route to a team-high 13 points. “We know what we have to do (on defense). Everyone knows what step to take and we stay together.”

“We had to try and make them (Friday Harbor) uncomfortable and we did that,” McCallum said. “There’s a method to our chaos — it’s organized chaos.

“(And) this is the hardest working group I’ve ever coached.”

Spurred by that effort, Mabton (17-6) will make its fourth straight…

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