NORTH MUSKEGON — A slow start in the first half transitioned to a strong finish for the Mason County Central girls basketball team in a 40-18 victory over North Muskegon on the road Wednesday night in the West Michigan Conference.

The Spartans played some zone defense initially, but the Norsemen made some shots while Central came in cold and didn’t shoot very well as North Muskegon enjoyed a 7-2 edge after the first eight minutes.

Central started to warm up in the second quarter, outscoring the Norsemen, 13-4 and went into the halftime break with a 15-11 lead.

“We really put together a really good second half on defense, and we went into a man-to-man,” Spartans head coach Mike Weinert said. “We played aggressive, but smart. We only had seven fouls the whole night.”

The Spartans shut out the Norsemen in the third quarter, 8-0 to take a 23-11 lead into the fourth period, when they finished with a 17-7 run.

We started out strong on Senior Night with A’mya Todd scoring the first and last basket of her senior season,” said Norsemen head coach Ryan Hankinson. “We did a good job of breaking the press in the first half, but Mason County’s quickness and four 3-pointers put the Spartans in the lead to stay.

The girls played hard, and found many opportunities to score, but the ball didn’t reach the net very often. It was a fun game, as fans cheered with their pink shirts on to support their team, and the seniors final home game of their careers.”

Grace Weinert scored 12 points and dished out four assists for the Spartans.

Charlie Banks contributed nine points and hauled down six rebounds, and Wren Nelson added nine points and six rebounds.

Molly Stewart scored five points to lead the Norsemen.

The Spartans lifted their record to 13-6 overall and 9-5 in the conference. Mason County is scheduled to close the regular season Friday at Calvary Christian.

North Muskegon fell to 2-17 overall and 0-14 in the conference to end the regular season. The Norsemen are next scheduled to play in the district tournament.