BALDWIN — With the shots failing to fall, Mason County Eastern’s boys basketball team couldn’t keep up with Baldwin and dropped Friday night’s Western Michigan D League contest to the Panthers, 58-39 at Baldwin.
Statistics tell the story for the Cardinals, as they connected on a paltry 29.17 percent from the field and were a frigid 5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
It came as a shock for the Cardinals, who are usually considerably more proficient at long distance shooting.
“Unfortunately, our energy level was very low,” Eastern head coach Mark Forner said. “We played five guys only because one of our guys was banged up.
“Nate Wing played excellent defense on Carmelo Lindsey, and he had to work for his points. We played so well, and at such a high level on Wednesday versus Mesick.
“We simply weren’t able to match that against Baldwin.”
As it struggled to take the lid off the basket, the Cardinals found themselves behind, 13-7 at the end of the first quarter. Baldwin outscored the Cardinals, 14-9 in the second and sent Eastern into the locker room with an 11-point deficit, 27-16 at the half.
Baldwin had an 18-13 advantage in the third period, and the Cardinals took the floor for the fourth quarter facing a 45-29 deficit. The Panthers outscored the Cardinals, 13-10 in the final period.
Eli Shoup led all scorers in the game with 23 points for the Cardinals. He also grabbed 13 rebounds and picked off three steals. Wyatt Crawford had seven points, and also contributed seven rebounds, three steals and an assist.
The Cardinals dropped to 12-5 overall and 11-4 in the WMD with their second loss in a row. Eastern returns to the court Wednesday, Feb. 23 at home against Marion in another league game.