Boys basketball: Cruisers falter in rivalry showdown

Eatonville's Griffin Clevenger scores two of his team-high 13 points in the Cruisers' loss to rival Orting on Saturday.

Eatonville's Griffin Clevenger scores two of his team-high 13 points in the Cruisers' loss to rival Orting on Saturday.
Annie Norman

In their annual matchup with their rivals, the Eatonville Cruiser boys' basketball team faced a disappointing setback on Saturday evening as they hosted the Orting Cardinals. The Cruisers, coming off a string of unsatisfactory results from the prior week, sought a rebound but were handed their third consecutive loss by the Cardinals, with a final score of 68-49.

The game started on a promising note for Eatonville as they opened with a 5-0 run, establishing an early lead. However, the Cardinals swiftly responded with a 7-0 run of their own, finishing the first quarter with a 14-12 lead.

Eatonville mounted a comeback in the second quarter, initiating a 9-0 run and entering halftime with a 30-26 lead. Unfortunately, Orting, motivated by a four-game losing streak against Eatonville, staged a formidable comeback in the third quarter. A commanding 21-2 run in that period secured a lead that the Cardinals maintained for the rest of the game.

The Cruisers' defense struggled to contain Orting's 6-foot 7-inch senior, Jason Warren, who dominated with a game-high 27 points. Eatonville's offensive woes deepened in the second half, with the Cardinals outscoring them 42-19.

Head Coach TJ Cotterill reflected on the challenges, stating, "It snowballed on us in the third quarter. We were a play or two away from going on some great runs, and then we really struggled taking care of the ball and finding quality shots."

Cotterill acknowledged the valuable lessons from the past couple of games, emphasizing the learning curve for the team's inexperienced varsity players. He highlighted the necessity of toughness, discipline, and togetherness to consistently compete at a high level.

Scoring for Eatonville featured Griffin Clevenger with 13 points, Mark Nueva with 12, Amari Samuel with 11, Hunter Klumpar with 7, Favien Pina with 4, and Michael Stogsdill with 2.

Looking ahead, the Cruisers aim to apply these lessons in their upcoming matchups: Wednesday at Morton-White Pass; Friday at Castle Rock; and Saturday  at home against Morton-White Pass.


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