CUSTER — Mason County Eastern’s girls basketball team knew it was bucking some long odds going up against Elk Rapids in Friday night’s non-conference home game.

Elk Rapids flashed its offensive firepower right from the opening tip, and never really was seriously threatened in posting a 73-22 victory over the Cardinals.

“They’re a real good squad,” Cardinals head coach Jake Smith said. “They’re a pretty good Class C school for us to be competing against.

“Good defense, and they have some great shooters. I was pleased with our effort, but we just didn’t have enough horses tonight. We battled hard.

“We definitely did a few things that we looked. Chances were just so limited. I think we had nine baskets, and we had seven assists on them. When we could get in what we needed to do, we took advantage of it.”

The Elks, who won their fourth straight game and improved to 11-2 on the season, exploded out of the gate and had the Cardinals down, 21-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Elk Rapids then outscored the Cardinals, 22-9 in the second quarter and extended its lead to a 32-17 margin by the end of the first half. Elk Rapids had a 14-4 advantage in the third and led, 46-21 going into the fourth.

“It’s nice to challenge ourselves against very good competition,” Smith added. “We can see what we need to improve on as a team, and individually.”

The Cardinals dropped to 7-7 overall and will next be in action Tueday, Feb. 8 at home against Mesick in a Western Michigan D League contest.