But the Mason County Eastern boys basketball team had just enough jump to pull out a 42-33 victory over Marion at home in the Western Michigan D League on Saturday afternoon in a makeup game.
“Marion is a good defensive team,” said Eastern coach Mark Forner. “We actually had seven guys, with Marcus Hampton back. He had been out for about a month with a high ankle sprain.
“It’s one of these deals (that) it’s late in the season, and we’d seen them before. The gym was fairly empty. It was our last home game of the year. We were not sharp. It’s the dog days. We’re waiting for the tournament.”
With both teams struggling to get their offenses clicking, the Cardinals finished the first quarter with an 8-2 lead. Marion outscored the Cardinals, 14-12 in the second quarter and Eastern went into the half with a 20-16 lead.
The Cardinals pulled further ahead with a 9-7 edge in the third period, and went into the fourth quarter with a 29-23 advantage. Eastern outscored Marion, 13-10 in the final eight minutes.
Eli Shoup paced the Cardinals with 17 points, scoring six points in both the first and fourth quarters, respectively. Wyatt Crawford knocked down a pair of 3-point shots and finished with 13 points. Clay Shoup added seven and Nate Wing five.
Marion was led by Cole Meyer who scored 11 points, and Gavin Prielipp added nine.
Eastern improved to 14-5 overall and 13-4 in the conference with its second consecutive win. The Cardinals finish the regular season with a road game at Manistee Catholic Cenral on Thursday.