BIG RAPIDS — The drought is over for the Mason County Eastern boys’ basketball team.

After starting the season with four straight losses, the Cardinals cruised to a 59-19 over Big Rapids Crossroads.

Although the Cardinals had only one player reach double figures in scoring, they had enough balance throughout the lineup as well as a stingy defense to cruise to the West Michigan D League win.
It was certainly a much more positive way to head into the Christmas break for the Cardinals, who have been struggling to put together a complete game.
“Our offense looked a little more efficient tonight, especially in the first half,” said Eastern coach Mark Forner. “The ball was moving quickly, and we were able to run our offense with some success.”
The Cardinals bolted to an 18-2 lead at the end of the first quarter and outscored the Cougars, 20-8, in the second period for a huge 38-10 halftime lead.
Big Rapids couldn’t recover, especially against the tenacious Eastern defense. The Cardinals enjoyed a 15-2 advantage in the third period to roll into the fourth quarter with a 53-12 bulge on the Cougars.
Clay Shoup had a big night for the Cardinals, scorching the Cougars for 33 points to tie his career-high, which came against Crossroads last year.
Nate Wing had his best night as a Cardinal with 14 points and five steals. Alex Tyndall had eight rebounds.
It was yet another tough night for the Cougars, who stretched their streak to 28 straight games, including 31 consecutive losses in the conference.
Eastern (1-4, 1-2) return to action Jan. 4 at home against Marion.