Cruiser boys stay hot, improve to 4-1

Cruiser boys stay hot, improve to 4-1

Cruiser boys stay hot, improve to 4-1

On Dec. 20, the Cruisers boys basketball team headed to Randle, Washington, looking to extend their winning streak to three games when they took on the Morton-White Pass Timberwolves in a non-league matchup.

The Timberwolves led by one at the end of the first quarter of play 17-16, but the Cruisers went on a 19-9 run in the second quarter, helped by six first-half 3-pointers, to take the lead for good.

Morton-White Pass cut into the Cruiser lead and cut the deficit to three with two minutes to go, but Eatonville sank a couple of free throws to push the lead back out and hold on for the 64-58 win.

Reilly McIlraith led the Cruisers with 20 points, and Shay Brannon recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Jake Wood came within a rebound shy of another double-double when he pulled down nine rebounds to accompany his 11 points.

The following evening, the Cruisers hosted Rainier High School in their home opener, and the Mountaineers spoiled the party by sinking the Cruisers 58-51 in front of a raucous home crowd at Rainier Connect Arena.

The teams swapped leads all evening long, and neither team led by more than three or four points in the first three quarters of play. As the third quarter came to a close, the Cruisers held on to a 37-35 lead.

The Mountaineers' 13-0 run to start the fourth was the ultimate decider in the win: that, and guard Ian Sprouffske's game-high 25 points.

Eatonville pulled within three points with a little over 30 seconds to play but needed to foul the Mountaineers to stop the clock to have a chance to tie the game. Rainier, however, hit the free throws and extended its lead to seven as the clock expired.

Wood led the Cruisers in scoring with 15 points. He pulled down six rebounds, as well. Kyle Cox recorded his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Brannon chipped in 13 points as well in the losing effort.

Finishing off the week before pausing for the Christmas holiday, the Cruisers hosted their rivals the Orting Cardinals in a non-league affair.

Eatonville went on an 8-0 run to start the game, and the Cardinals never recovered as the Cruisers coasted to a 66-34 victory.

The Cruisers went on a 10-0 run to open up the second quarter and then an 11-0 run to start the third, and Orting never answered back.

Brannon led the Cruisers in scoring with a game-high 22 points. Wood added 14, and Walker Bruun had a season-high 8 points.

The Cruisers now sit at 4-1 overall and start back up  today when they host the Toledo Riverhawks in another non-league matchup. The tip-off is at 5:15 p.m.

The Riverhawks (9-1), out of the 2B Central league, come into the game riding an eight-game winning streak, led by junior point guard Jake Cournyer. Cournyer is averaging 17.8 points per game, so the Cruiser defense will need to keep an eye on him in this game.


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