WHITE CLOUD — Clay Shoup had a big game for the Mason County Eastern boys basketball team in Tuesday night’s season opener at White Cloud, but the Cardinals couldn’t take advantage of it as they dropped a 61-45 decision to the Indians.

Shoup pumped in 25 points to lead MCE in the non-conference tilt. Nate Wing finished with 10 points and added four steals.

James Drake contributed 10 rebounds to the Cardinals’ effort while Alex Tyndall pulled down eight boards.

White Cloud gained a 12-7 lead over the Cardinals after the first eight minutes, then exploded for 25 points in the second for a 37-11 lead at the half.

MCE used the halftime break to regroup and matched the Indians basket-for-basket in the third to finish the period with a 17-17 tie but still trailed, 54-28 to start the fourth quarter.

The Cardinals outscored White Cloud, 17-7 in the final eight minutes.

“We overcame a pretty ugly first half and played much better the second,” said Cardinals’ head coach Mark Forner. “We will get better after getting this non-conference game under our belts.”

Robinson paced the White Cloud (1-0) with 20 points, while Straight contributed 15. 

White Cloud attempts to win its second straight game Friday night when the Indians make their home debut against Howard City Tri-County in the Central State Activities Association.

The Cardinals begin competition in the West Michigan D League on Thursday night when they travel to Bear Lake.