MCBAIN — Mason County Eastern’s boys basketball team saw its season come to an end Wednesday night in a MHSAA Division 4 district semifinal at McBain when the Cardinals fell to Western Michigan D League foe Baldwin, 59-52.
Eastern finished the first quarter tied with the Panthers, 14-14. The Cardinals managed to snare a 26-25 edge at the end of the first half by outscoring the Panthers, 12-11 in the second quarter.
The Panthers outscored the Cardinals, 17-16 in the third quarter and the two teams went into the fourth quarter with a 43-43 tie. Baldwin pulled the game out with a 16-9 advantage in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve had a terrific year,” said Eastern head coach Mark Forner. “Most of the season with six guys and still manage to win 16 games, that’s pretty good.
“They’re a good team. It was the rubber match, we knew it would be close. We had a couple key turnovers at the end. I can’t say enough about our guys not quitting.”
Clay Shoup paced the Cardinals with 21 points, while Eli Shoup finished with 16, including 12 of 14 free throws, and Crawford added nine. Eli Shoup hauled down 13 rebounds and had two blocked shots. Crawford dished out five assists and picked off three steals.
Baldwin was led in scoring by SJ Hossler with 22 and Carmelo Lindsey with 15.
Eastern loses seniors Wyatt Crawford and Eli Shoup. The Cardinals wound up 16-6 for the year.