CHAMPS AGAIN: Cruisers win second straight Evergreen title

The 2022-23 Eatonville boys basketball team poses for a photo following the Cruisers’ Evergreen Conference title-clinching win over Tenino on Jan. 26.

The 2022-23 Eatonville boys basketball team poses for a photo following the Cruisers’ Evergreen Conference title-clinching win over Tenino on Jan. 26.
Alyssa Wood

Eatonville's sharpshooters caught fire from beyond the arc and used 10 3-pointers to help power them past the Tenino Beavers, 83-71, to clinch their second consecutive Evergreen Conference title on Thursday night at Rainier Connect Arena in Eatonville.

The win gave first-year head coach TJ Cotterill his first league title after taking over the reins of the program.

The Cruisers' Shay Brannon set the tone early when he stole a Beaver pass and raced the length of the floor and threw down a two-handed slam dunk for the first points of the game.

The teams traded buckets after that and kept it close until the second quarter when the Cruisers started to pull away. They led by eight points at the half.

The Cruisers continued to extend that lead in the third quarter as they pushed the score to 64-53 and took an 11-point lead into the final quarter.

Walker Bruun and Griffin Clevenger paced the Cruisers with six points each in the quarter.

With under a minute to play, Brannon put the finishing touch on the game when he beat his defender on the baseline and threw down another two-handed jam to seal the victory.

Brannon led Eatonville with a career-high 33 points. Bruun scored 24 points and hit five three-pointers in the game.

The Cruisers then turned around and headed to Orting to meet up with the rival Cardinals for their last non-league game of the season.

Eatonville struggled to generate some offense early on as they let the winless Cardinals lead for most of the game.

Down by five at the half, the Cruisers turned things around in the third quarter behind Bruun's 10 points. This pulled the Cruisers within a point entering the final period.

The Cruisers' Kyle Cox was the hot hand in the quarter with nine points as the Cruiser offense outscored Orting 23-13 to clinch the 78-69 victory.

Bruun led the Cruisers with 24 points and was 14-17 from the free-throw line. Brannon and Cox both recorded double-doubles on the night. Brannon had 22 points and 15 rebounds, while Cox chipped in with 15 points and 15 boards.

The Cruisers started the week with a 66-53 win over Montesano. Brannon led Eatonville with 24 points.

The Cruisers will finish out their regular season schedule hosting the Elma Eagles at 7 p.m. Friday for Senior Night.


Eatonville 24 24 16 19 — 83

Tenino 22 18 13 18 — 71

Eatonville: Shay Brannon 33, Walker Bruun 24, Kyle Cox 9, Hunter Klumpar 6, Griffin Clevenger 6, Shane Taylor 5

Tenino: Austin Gonia 30, Noah Schow 22, Will Feltus 9, Keefan O'Conner 6, Brody Noonan 4


Eatonville 16 16 23 23 — 78

Orting 15 21 20 13 — 67

Eatonville: Walker Bruun 24, Shay Brannon 22, Kyle Cox 15, Hunter Klumpsar 7, Griffin Clevenger 6, Shane Taylor 4.

Orting: Mason McCall 33, Monvir 12, Connor Alexander 6, Jason 5, Divin Mbuyamba 4, Tanner Peavler 4, Gannon Greenan 4


Eatonville 13 19 16 18 — 66

Montesano 15 13 16 9 — 53

Eatonville: Shay Brannon 23, Hunter Klimpar 17, Walker Bruun 9, Shane Taylor 6, Kyle Cox 4, Griffin Clevenger 4, Mark Nueva 3

Montesano: Tyce Peterson 15, Camden Taylor 14, Soren Cobb 6, Christian Olsen 6, Trent Adams 4, Peyton Damasciewicz 4, Caleb Bruland 3.


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