SHELBY — A first half lead stood up for the Shelby girls basketball team as the Tigers turned back visiting Whitehall for a tight 50-47 victory on Friday night.

The Tigers eased into a three-point lead, 17-14 at the end of the first quarter, then edged the Vikings by one, 12-11 in the second and led, 29-25 at the half.

Both teams scored eight points in the third period, which left the Tigers holding a slim 37-33 lead heading into the fourth period. Whitehall outscored Shelby, 14-13 in the final eight minutes but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Tigers.

Kendall Zoulek scored 18 points, hauled down 12 rebounds and distributed five assists to lead the Tigers. Molli Schultz contributed 11 points, and Ella Olmstead added eight points and eight rebounds.

“It was a physical game,” Shelby coach Sarah Wolting said. “We’ve got to figure out how to control the speed of the game, and when to push for fast breaks, and when to slow it down and handle the pressure in the half court.

“We have made turnovers, and taking care of the ball, a goal that we really want to focus on. Each day we are going to remind each other, and push each other to get better with the ball, and to make the open pass.

“It was a big win tonight. We had a couple big offensive plays in the end by Ella and Kendall, and we are happy to walk away with the win.”

The Tigers improved their record to 6-4 overall and 3-2 in the conference with their second consecutive victory. Shelby is next scheduled play at Ravenna in another conference game on Thursday, January 20.

Whitehall fell to 3-7 overall and 2-4 in the conference with its second straight loss. The Vikings are next scheduled to host Western Michigan Christian on Tuesday, January 18.