SCOTTVILLE — Mason County Central fell behind big early and couldn’t recover in a 71-31 non-conference loss to Grand Rapids Covenant Christian on Tuesday night in Scottville.

The Spartans were in a deep 22-9 hole at the end of the first quarter and battled to dig out of it the rest of the night. Covenant Christian made that task even more difficult with a 17-2 second quarter that sent it into the half with a 39-11 lead. It was 56-21 after three.

“Covenant is a well-rounded team, with skilled guards and good post play,” said Spartans coach Chris Vander Haag. “Their ball pressure and height made things very difficult for us.

“We have a lot of growing to do as a team,” he said. “Our mental toughness is not where it should be this late in the season.”

Leading the Spartans was Cole Vander Haag with 13 points. Braylin Thurow and Peyton Merz each had five.

The Spartans fell to 8-11 and next hosts Ravenna in a West Michigan Conference Rivers Division game on Friday night.