After building an 11-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Spartans saw their advantage shrink to an 11-8 margin when Shelby senior Kendall Zoulek went off.
Zoulek’s shooting allowed the Tigers to score evenly with the Spartans in the second quarter, each team netting nine points. But the Spartans still had a six-point edge, 20-14 at the half.
“Jayden Peterson and Charlie Banks did a really good job on Kendall Zoulek tonight,” Spartans head coach Mike Weinert said. “She was their leading scorer, but they held her to 13.
“It was just a really good defensive effort. We had some people click on offense.”
The Spartans couldn’t shake the Tigers, though, as they outscored them only 15-13 in the third quarter and went into the fourth period with a 35-27 edge and then hung on with a 13-10 edge in the final period.
Wren Nelson led the Spartans with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Adria Quigley added eight points and seven rebounds.
Zoulek finished with 13 points to lead the Tigers, Aubrey Klotz added seven points, six rebounds and three assists and Ella Olmstead contributed seven points, and Biloxi Lee grabbed seven rebounds.
Mason County Central improved to 9-5 overall and 6-4 in the conference. The Spartans will next see action on Friday when they host Ravenna in another league game.
Shelby fell to 9-7 with its second straight loss. Next up for the Tigers is a home game with Montague on Friday evening.