SCOTTVILLE — Hart’s girls basketball team forced host Mason County Central into some uncharacteristic mistakes and some missed shots on Thursday night.

The result was that Hart handed the Spartans their first loss of the season, 54-38, in the West Michigan Conference Rivers Division.

Coming out of the gate quickly, the Pirates gained a lead. But the Spartans managed to rally, and shaved the margin to six points, 15-9, in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Pirates used pressure defense and some mismatches on offense to stretch their lead to 10 points, 30-20, at the half.

“We didn’t shoot particularly well tonight, we left a lot out there,” said Mason County Central coach Mike Weinert. “We missed more puppies than I would have liked, and we didn’t shoot well from outside either.

“They made theirs. It was a big game. I think Hart’s experience with big games over the last couple of years with their players helped them tonight. We’re learning a lot. We made some mistakes tonight that I think in the future we won’t make those mistakes.”

Hart continued to keep the defensive pressure on the Spartans in the second half and built a 20-point lead.

Aspen Boutell not only keyed the Pirates’ suffocating defense, but led all scorers with 19 points. She added two assists.

Following her was Abby Hicks with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists. Addi Hovey contributed eight points, six rebounds and five steals.

Mariana VanAgtmael dished out four assists and played a solid game on the defensive end.

Leading the Spartans was Mallory Miller with 12 points and three assists. Wren Nelson added 11 points and four rebounds.

The Spartans (6-1 3-1) travels to Shelby next Tuesday for another conference game.

Hart (5-2, 4-0) hosts Hesperia on Tuesday night in a conference game.

Photos below courtesy of LSJ Photographer Joe Washington