HOLTON — Mason County Central’s girls basketball team showed a few more of its strengths Thursday night.

The Spartans registered a convincing 46-27 victory over Holton in the West Michigan Conference Rivers Division opener.

Good things were expected from this group by coach Mike Weinert, and the Spartans are beginning to exhibit the reasons in this quick start.

Yes, there is still a lot of season left, but the Spartans are rapidly establishing themselves as a team to be reckoned with, both in and out of the conference.

After starting out a little slow Thursday night, and gaining just a three-point edge on the Red Devils, 10-7, after the first period, the Spartans began to gather steam in the second and outscored Holton, 14-5, for a 24-12 halftime cushion.

The Spartans built their lead up to 42-18 after three quarters, and withstood a run by the Red Devils, who had a  9-4 edge in the fourth period.

Wren Nelson led the Spartans with 10 points and six rebounds, while Grace Weinert contributed eight points, four assists and four steals.

Mallory Miller, Charlie Banks and Eva Hradel tossed in six points apiece.

“The Spartans are a solid team with great size and length, and the can shoot,” said Holton coach Robert Jordan. “They shot the ball at a very efficient rate tonight, hitting seven 3-pointers.

“We had a hard time keeping up with them, but unlike Tuesday night when I felt my girls packed it in halfway through the fourth quarter, we battled all game and I am very happy from an effort standpoint. We were just outmatched tonight.

“But, the message to the team was effort, effort, effort. We just couldn’t hit many shots. If we can duplicate the effort the effort for the rest of the year, I think we will end up just fine. We just have to be consistent.”

Jordan added that the Red Devils took better care of the ball against the Spartans.

Layla Cannady scored 12 points to lead the Red Devils and Ryann Robins chipped in with five.

The Spartans resume conference action next Tuesday night when they travel to White Cloud.

Holton fell to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference, and is next scheduled to play next Tuesday night when it travels to Hesperia.