A tough second half was too much for Mason County Central to overcome in its 55-43 Class C regional final loss to Sanford Meridian at Beal City High School on Wednesday.

The Spartans trailed 13-11 after one quarter and held a 23-19 lead at halftime. But MCC went cold from the floor in the second half, and Sanford Meridian’s Garrett Stockford got hot, ending the Spartans’ hopes to advance in the state tournament.

Stockford scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the final 16 minutes of play.

“Our zone (defense) created frustration for Sanford in the first half,” said MCC coach Tim Genson, whose team finished the season with a 16-8 overall record and a Class C district title. “We had trouble with dribble penetration and Stockford in the second half, but I’m very proud of our seniors and our team’s effort this season.”

MCC was outscored 19-8 in the third quarter and 17-12 in the fourth.

Tyler Bromley led MCC with 21 points and five rebounds, Nate Nummerdor scored 10 points and Jefferey Carrier had seven points and eight rebounds.

“He had a real bounceback game tonight for us,” said Genson about Bromley’s effort. “On Monday he managed four points, but was able to fight past the flu and have a great night.”