Photo by Cheryl Taylor: Senior Zach Smith drains one of his shot attempts in the Cruisers 44-32 victory over rival Orting.
Photo by Cheryl Taylor: Senior Zach Smith drains one of his shot attempts in the Cruisers 44-32 victory over rival Orting.
The Eatonville Cruiser men’s basketball team opened the week with a trip to unfriendly territory. They snuck into Cardinal Country to take on their long-time rivals, the Orting Cardinals.
The Cruisers would escape from behind enemy lines with a 44-32 victory to sweep the 2-game series on the season. That brings the Cruisers winning streak over the Cardinals to 24 games. The last time the Cardinals took down the Cruisers was in 2008 when the Cruisers lost 73-72.
The opening quarter would end in a 14-14 draw. The Cruisers would then open the 2nd quarter by going on a 12-0 run and limit the Cardinals to only 3 points in the quarter to take a 26-14 lead into halftime.
That 12-0 run by the Cruisers would prove to be the difference in the game.
“We opened up the 2nd quarter playing much better defense as a team,” head coach Mark Swartout said.
Regarding the Cruiser defense, senior Zach Smith said, “Our defense was good tonight, we only gave up 32 points. Before the game Coach Swartout said the other coach was telling him how bad both teams defenses were. So, we had to prove him wrong.”
That 32 points would be the lowest point total the Cruisers had given up to any opponent this season.
Smith would lead the Cruisers with 11 points.
Smith had been struggling as of late, so it was nice to see his shots starting to fall.
“It was just another night of basketball but just against our rivals. In warmups I felt pretty good. My shots were going in and I was ready for the game. After I made my first three in the game, Reilly (McIlraith) said, ‘uh oh, someone is gonna get hot!’ And he was right.”
Scoring: Z. Smith 11 pts, K. Foster 8 pts, J. Knoblauch 7 pts, R. McIlraith 6 points, C. Hatler 4 pts. K. Cox 4 pts, J. Lucht 4 pts
After picking up their third win of the season on Monday, the Cruisers welcomed in the league leading White River Hornets to Rainier Connect Arena.
The Cruisers would keep the game close, within 7 points for most of the game. The Hornets would put the Cruisers away in the final frame to take the win by a score of 59-46.
Eatonville did a great job of slowing down the Hornet offense who beat the Cruisers by 28 the last time they met. The Cruiser defense held the Hornets to their second lowest scoring output of the season. Second only to the #1 team in the state, Black Hills.
Zach Smith would lead the Cruisers in scoring for the second game in a row. Smith would put up 15 points.
Scoring: Z. Smith 15 pts, K. Cox 7 pts, J. Lucht 6 pts, J. Knoblauch 6 pts, C. Hatler 4 pts, K. Foster 4 pts, T. McElyea 2 pts, A. Brymer 2 pts
The Cruisers would then finish the week off by visiting Franklin Pierce HS to take on the Cardinals.
Eatonville would start off the game on a 7-2 run before the Cardinals would start to climb back into the game. The Cardinals would end up leading at the end of the quarter 20-14 and would never look back.
The Cardinals would extend that lead to 10 points at the half. Leading 36-26.
The Cruisers would struggle to close the gap in the 2nd half and would eventually drop the contest 64-48.
Reilly McIlraith would lead the Cruisers with 12 points. Jeremy Knoblauch would pick up a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Scoring: R. McIlraith 12 points, J. Knoblauch 11 points, K. Foster 10 points, K. Cox 8 points, T. McElyea 3 points, C. Hatler 2 points