CUSTER — Coming into the game on a hot streak, Pentwater’s boys basketball team nearly overcame a 13-point halftime deficit but eventually fell short, losing to homestanding Mason County Eastern, 60-50 on Friday night in the Western Michigan D League.

The Cardinals outscored the Falcons, 15-11 in the first quarter and then limited Pentwater to just three points in the second for a 12-3 advantage and built a 27-14 first half advantage.

Pentwater came out hot in the third quarter, outscoring Eastern, 21-13 and closed the gap to five points, 40-35 going into the fourth period., Eastern staved off the surging Falcons, 20-15 in the final eight minutes.

“Pentwater is a tough team, and they have been on a roll the second half of the season,” said Eastern coach Mark Forner.

“Ashley Lubera does a great job, and her kids fought back and took the lead in the second half. Fortunately, Eli (Shoup) gave us a lift in the fourth quarter shooting from the free throw line (4 of 4).”

Clay and Eli Shoup scored 23 points apiece to lead all scorers in the game for Eastern. Wyatt Crawford contributed 11, including a pair of 3-point buckets in the fourth quarter.

“We were missing shots and turning the ball over in critical moments at the start,” said Pentwater coach Ashley Lubera. “Our defense created hope for a comeback in the second half.

“Our charged defense, and aggressive play, we came out on fire in the third quarter. The game was tied with four minutes to play. But we had a couple of critical turnovers.”

Pentwater freshman Jonny Arnouts scored 21 points, while Will Werekma-Grondsma finished with 14 and Tyler Plummer-Eisenlohr had 13.

Eastern improves to 13-5 overall and 12-4 in the WMD. The Cardinals were scheduled to host Marion in a league game Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Pentwater falls to 6-10 overall and 6-8 in the WMD. The Falcons host Manistee Catholic on Tuesday.