Strong man-to-man defense set the tone in the first half as host Mason County Central built a large lead and earned a 41-34 girls basketball victory over rival Ludington Monday night.
The unbeaten Spartans outscored the Orioles 7-2 in the first quarter and 20-7 in the second quarter en route to the West Michigan Conference nondivisional win.
“We played solid man-to-man in the first half, limiting (Keelyn) Laird and (Olivia) Lynn. Took care of the ball well in the first half (seven turnovers),” Mason County Central coach Mike Weinert said.
“Had 10 turnovers in the second half and did not score as well.”
MCC’s Mallory Miller led all scorers with 14 points to go with three assists and two steals. Grace Weinert had 11 points, three steals and two assists for the Spartans (5-0), while Charlie Banks and Eva Hradel added six and four points, respectively.
Weinert made three 3-pointers in the first half and Miller two to boost the Spartans’ quick start.
Laird led WMC Lakes Division-leading Ludington with nine points, followed by Emma McKinley and Karli Mesyar with eight and seven points, respectively.
Mason County Central returns to action Thursday at Ferris State University, where the Spartans take on Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills at 1:30 p.m. in the “Holiday Hoops at FSU” showcase in Wink Arena.
Ludington is off until Jan. 3, when the Orioles play a nonconference game at Reed City.
An upcoming matchup to keep an eye on is Jan. 5, when Mason County Central hosts Hart in the first of two WMC Rivers Division matchups that could go a long way in determining the divisional title. The Spartans and Pirates are both off to 3-0 starts in WMC Rivers play.
“Having a freshman, three sophomores and some good juniors and seniors mesh this well this quickly has been nice,” Mike Weinert said. “They still have a lot of untapped potential.”
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