CUSTER — Marion’s aggressiveness on both offense and defense had the Mason County Eastern girls basketball team struggling to match up in Tuesday night’s Western Michigan D League game at Eastern.

A slow start on offense because of the Eagles’ tenacious defensive play, which had the Cardinals rattled, never got any better and Marion took a 54-27 win.

“We had trouble matching their physicality,” Eastern coach Jake Smith said. “Our offense was a little stagnant. They played a pretty good man-to-man against us, and we just had trouble getting good looks at the basket.

“On the other end, they definitely rebounded well against us and got some easier looks off the rebounds a lot of the times. We had contested shots for them, but they were more physical, got offense rebounds and got some easy putbacks. That was the name of the game.”

Eastern trailed, 18-5 at the end of the first quarter and found playing catch-up against the Eagles was a no-win situation. The Cardinals scored closer with the Eagles in the second period, but still were outscored, 10-8 and went into the half with a 28-13 deficit.

Marion outscored the Cardinals by 10 points, 16-6 in the third period and stretched its lead to 44-19 entering the fourth quarter. The Eagles had a 10-8 advantage in the final eight minutes.

Eastern dropped to 8-9 overall and 8-5 in the conference with its second straight loss. The Cardinals are next scheduled to see action on Thursday at Pentwater in another WMD game.