YAKIMA -- A clash of league MVPs highlighted Thursday's quarterfinal matchup between defending 1A state champion Cascade Christian and Mabton at the SunDome.
Vikings guard Kristian Carrasco was good, drilling a pair of clutch third-quarter 3-pointers to tie the game up at 28.
But Cougars guard Cody Shackett was great, scoring 26 points on 10-of-23 shooting and adding seven rebounds as Cascade Christian advanced to today's 1A semifinals with a 59-44 victory.
"He's just so strong. We were hoping we could contain him, but everything was going in," said Carrasco, the SCAC East MVP who finished with 11 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. "We believed we could win this game, but we didn't shoot that well."
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The Vikings (20-6), who will face Nooksack Valley at 12:15 p.m. today, shot 31 percent (17-of-55), while the Cougars hit a respectable 40 percent (23-of-57).
But the difference was Shackett, the Nisqually Conference MVP and last year's 1A state tournament MVP.
The 6-foot senior got his points when his team needed them, converting a 3-point play in the first quarter to break a 6-6 tie and then sparking a 10-3 run to end the third quarter after Mabton pulled to within 31-30 with 3:58 left.
"What can you do when the ball doesn't go in?" asked Vikings coach Brock Ledgerwood. "I don't know whether it was nerves or that it just wasn't our day."
Cascade Christian will face Granger at 7:15 p.m. today.