CUSTER — Mason County Eastern kept the game close through the first half, but the Eagles pulled away in the second half for a 57-39 West Michigan D League victory.
Eastern fell behind 13-6 at the end of the first quarter but turned things around in the second and outscored the Eagles, 16-9 to pull even with the Eagles 22-22 at the half.
The Eagles took over in the second half. They finished the third period with a 16-9 scoring advantage and took a seven-point lead, 38-31. Marion had a 17-8 edge in the final eight minutes to spread out the final margin.
Clay Shoup led all scorers with 19 points for the Cardinals. Zach Howe finished with nine points.
“Our guys played really well defensively,” said Eastern coach Mark Forner. “Marion is a big, strong defensive-oriented team and we had to fight for every basket. We are using a six-man rotation, so that caught up with us towards the end. But I am very happy with the way our kids competed.”
Marion (14-5, 11-3 WMD) was led by Cole Meyer with 17 points, followed by Mason Salisbury with 15 and Gavin Prielipp with 13.
Eastern (4-13, 4-10 WMD) hosts a girls-boys doubleheader against Cadillac Heritage Christian Tuesday night. The boys play the second game.