The Eatonville Cruiser boys basketball team had a successful season after going undefeated in league play, winning the league title and winning a berth to state for the first time in 18 years. However, that success came to an end when the Seattle Academy Cardinals defeated the Cruisers 71-53 in the regional round of the WIAA State Basketball Tournament, Saturday at Bellevue College.
After trading three-pointers to open the game, the Cruisers found themselves in trouble early, trailing 24-17, and they never recovered.
Seattle Academy's do-everything player, Logan Britt, gave the Cruisers fits all afternoon. Britt's game-high 27 points came from inside and outside, with him hitting from beyond the arc five times on the day.
Like he has done most of the year, Reilly McIlraith led the Cruisers with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Rounding out the stat sheet for the Cruisers: Jakob Lucht scored 13 points and pulled down five rebounds; Shay Brannon picked up nine points, eight rebounds; Kyle Cox, five points and two rebounds; Brandon Storm, three points/, two rebounds; Walker Bruun had three points; Waylan Mettler, two points, two rebounds; and Jake Wood, two points, one rebound.
Head coach Mark Swartout reflected on the season and the performance of his players after the game.
"I am very proud of these young men and the season they had," Swartout said.
He went on to express his appreciation for the seniors, McIlraith, Lucht, Storm, Mettler and Justus Roulst, and how they will be missed.
"I was very fortunate to have the privilege of coaching the seniors who are amazing young men with outstanding families,” Swartout said. “I will truly miss my daily interactions with these quality young men, most of whom have been a part of my life for the past seven years."
The Cruisers will return four juniors who all played starting roles during the season: Brannon, Cox, Wood and Bruun, as well as sophomore Griffin Clevenger who saw some time in the starting lineup.
The Eatonville Cruisers finished the 2021-22 campaign with a 14-7 overall record and an 8-0 record in league play. The team won the Evergreen 1A conference, placed second in the Southwest Washington District IV playoffs and qualified for the state championships.
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