MARION — It was a long bus ride home from Marion for the Mason County Eastern girls’ basketball team Monday night after the Cardinals dropped a 59-22 decision to the Eagles.  

Sitting up near the top of the West Michigan D League standings, the Eagles proved why they are in the top tier of the league.  

“The girls fought hard tonight and we got some good minutes out of the bench,” said Eastern coach Jake Smith. “Marion is a good team. With our lack of experience due to depth issues, they were able to stretch their lead every quarter. I was happy to see the girls playing hard every possession.  

“We were outsized on some matchups, but the girls hung tough and stood tall.”  

Marion (14-4, 12-3 WMD) opened a 13-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and then outscored the Cardinals 16-8 in the second for a 29-14 lead at the half.  

But it was the third quarter that told the story, as the Eagles shut out the Cardinals, 20-0, and rolled into the fourth quarter with an insurmountable 49-14 lead.  

Maria Gomez-Jimenez was the Cardinals’ leading scorer with six points.  

Georgia Meijer poured in a game-high 22 points for the Eagles and Madison Bell added 12.  

Eastern (8-12, 7-10 WMD) takes on Cadillac Heritage Christian in a boys-girls non-conference doubleheader at home tonight.