CUSTEROpening night jitters contributed to some early problems for the Mason County Eastern boys basketball team in Tuesday night’s 69-56 non-conference season opener to White Cloud.

The game was closer than the final score indicated, as the Cardinals struggled out of the gate and trailed by a large margin in the first quarter.

White Cloud opened a 38-32 lead at the half, and while the Cardinals were competitive throughout the game, they couldn’t close the gap.

Some of the Cardinals problems were created by 17 turnovers for the game, compared to seven steals. Eastern also committed 16 personal fouls, which gave White Cloud extra scoring opportunities at the free throw line.

The Cardinals had 35 rebounds, eight assists, seven steals and four blocks for the game.

Eli Shoup had a double double to lead the Cardinals with 18 points and 18 rebounds. He also had three blocks. Clay Shoup made five 3-point baskets on the night and added 16 points.

Wyatt Crawford scored 10 points and picked off two steals while dishing out four assists. Marcus Hamilton contributed seven points, James Drake added three and Nate Wing two.

Mason County Eastern is next scheduled to open Western Michigan D League play on the road at Walkerville on Thursday night