The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale girls fall in opener to tough Mabton squad

 

December 6, 2017

John Longfellow

Sophomore Ashley Bartkowski goes strong to the basket during Saturday's game against Mabton.

Timberwolves head coach Mike Plum knew it was going to be a challenge during the team's season opening game against the Mabton Vikings.

He called the Vikings a powerhouse among the Class 2B ranks and rightfully so. An old South Central Athletic Conference West rival of the Timberwolves, the Vikings dropped from 1A to 2B less than a decade ago and have been dominant for the last four years.

They started out strong, doing what they do best – running and gunning – to top the Timberwolves 74-30 on Saturday night in the GHS gym.

The Vikings came out hot and scored the game's first eight points, with Viking senior Britnee Guerrero repeatedly going baseline and finishing at the basket with easy layins.

The Timberwolves got on the board shortly after when senior Allison Gilliam found senior Aimee Bartkowski for a layin in transition. Gilliam converted one of two free throws and Bartkowski scored again inside off a nice feed from sophomore Kristin Bighorn to narrow their deficit to 10-5.

However, the Vikings held the Wolves scoreless for the rest of the quarter, hitting a pair of 3-pointers late to stretch the lead to 20-5 after the first quarter.

The Mabton full court press defense also overwhelmed Goldendale early as the Wolves struggled to move the ball past half court at times.

But that's what the Vikings do well. They've made a living off forcing turnovers and getting easy layins or 3-pointers for the past four years. In each of the past four years, the Vikings have advanced to the Class 2B state tournament, winning at least one game each year including three wins at state in 2016.

Mabton continued their tough pressure into the second – and until the final buzzer – making it tough for the home team as they tried to find an offensive rhythm.

Bighorn scored inside early in the half, and Gilliam turned a steal into an easy fastbreak layin, and Bartkowski knocked down a triple all in the second, but the Vikings were putting up points in a hurry and led 43-13 at halftime.

Goldendale's offense picked up in the third quarter where they doubled their score from the first half, but it was too late, and the Vikings scored too much to make a comeback.

Bartkowski converted a three-point play and Gilliam connected from beyond the arc and added a pair of layins late in the quarter, but a Viking 3-pointer just before the buzzer gave them a 57-26 lead heading to the fourth.

Sophomore Ashley Bartkowski played tough and physical down low for Goldendale and came away with some tough boards against the scrappy Vikings and freshman Tiana Watson was full of energy and made some nice passes on offense. Both players should only continue to get better as they build on their first varsity games.

Box

Goldendale 5 8 13 4 - 30

Mabton 20 23 14 18 - 74

Jaryd Cline

Goldendale freshman Tiana Watson looks for an open teammate during Saturday's season opening game against the Vikings.

Goldendale scoring: Allison Gilliam 12, Aimee Bartkowski 12, Ashley Bartkowski 3, Kristin Bighorn 2, Delaney Peters 1.

The Timberwolves were away on Tuesday at Stevenson, but results weren't available at press time. Goldendale knocked of the Bulldogs 66-35 last year in Goldendale.

They play on the road at River View on Friday, and are back at home on Saturday against Royal and Tuesday at home against Highland.

 

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