Cruiser basketballers tip off season with wins
It’s spring time, which means it is winter sports season at Eatonville High School because, in a pandemic, very little makes sense.
With basketball being deemed a high risk sport, the WIAA decided to move the traditional winter sports season to the end of the school year in hopes that the number of COVID-19 cases went down enough so the high risk sports could be played.
In phase 2 of Washington State’s Roadmap to Recovery, basketball games could not be played. So, Eatonville teams had to get creative. They were originally scheduled to host Morton/White Pass but instead decided to play the game in Morton since Lewis County was in phase 3, a phase that allows basketball games to take place.
So, both the Eatonville Cruiser boys and girls teams loaded up and headed south to kick off their seasons this past week by starting things off with the Morton/White Pass Timberwolves on Saturday.
The girls dominated the Timberwolves and came away with a 55-35 victory.
Hailey Rath led the Cruisers with 26 points. Sophia Henley scored 15 as well. Rounding out the scoring for the Cruisers were Hannah Kralik (seven points), Sara Smith (two points), Brooke Blocker (two), Berkeley Porter (two) and Kyleigh Backlund (one point).
The boys team also came away with a win, as well, defeating the Timberwolves 66-53.
Reilly McIlraith led the Cruisers with 21 points, followed by Shay Brannon’s 16. Other Cruisers getting in the scorebook were Griffin Clevenger (seven points), Jake Wood (seven points), Waylan Mettler (six points), Jakob Lucht (six) and Blake Truman (three points).
With Pierce County being in Phase 2 until this week and all but one of the teams in the Cruisers' league also in Pierce County, the teams had to get creative in their games.
A decision was made to play all the games at the Northwest Sports Hub in Centralia, which is in phase 3.
The girls team picked right up where it left off with a win over the Clover Park Warriors, 49-36.
Rath, again, led the Cruisers in scoring with 32 points. Also scoring for Cruisers were Henley (six points), Porter (six) and Gianna Mervyn (five points).
On the boys side, while Eatonville stuck close to Clover Park in the first quarter, the Warriors pulled away in the second to down the Cruisers by a score of 57-36.
Leading the Cruisers, Shay Brannon chipped in 16 points in the losing effort. Also getting on the scoreboard for the Cruisers were Reilly McIlraith (nine points), Griffin Clevenger (five points), Waylan Mettler (three points), Cameron Hatler (two points) and Jake Wood (one point)
With Gov. Jay Inslee announcing all counties are back into phase 3 as of Tuesday, the Cruisers will finish out at least the week of May 17-21 playing their games in Centralia. All signs then point to their games being moved back to the high school gyms in Pierce County.
Girls: 4:30 p.m. May 19 vs. Foss Falcons at NW Sports Hub
Boys: 4:40 p.m. May 19 vs. Foss Falcons at NW Sports Hub