The Eatonville girls basketball team had a rough time last week when the Cruisers dropped their final two games of the regular season to Hoquiam and Elma to finish the season with a 12-7 overall record, 4-4 in Evergreen Conference play.
Eatonville welcomed the Hoquiam Grizzlies to Rainier Connect Arena Feb. 1 in a crucial Evergreen Conference game.
With both teams tied at 4-2 in the Evergreen Conference standings, the Lady Cruisers needed a win over Hoquiam to lock up a second-place finish and the No. 2 seed in the district playoffs.
Unfortunately for Eatonville, the Grizzlies came out on top, 53-40.
The Lady Cruisers were a little short-handed on the night, with Bailey Andersen nursing an injured ankle, sophomore post Lillian Bickford out with a broken finger and freshman Sadie Mettler out, as well, but Eatonville took a three-point lead into the second quarter at 10-7.
The Grizzlies battled back and outscored the Cruisers 17-13 in the second frame to take a one-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
Both teams traded buckets and the lead in the third, but Hoquiam won the battle in the quarter and took a six-point lead into the final frame at 42-36.
The Cruiser offense stalled in the final quarter as they only mustered four points, and the Grizzlies picked up the win.
With only three substitutes on the bench, a few Cruiser players found themselves in foul trouble early in the game, which affected the team's play. That foul trouble caught up to them late in the game when two of their starters, Andersen and Sara Smith, and reserve player Ella Gendreau fouled out of the game, leaving Eatonville to finish the final seconds of the game with only four players on the court.
With the loss to Hoquiam, the Cruisers were in a must-win situation for a chance to finish in second place. They would need to beat Elma and have Montesano beat Hoquiam to force a tie for second with Hoquiam and then let the tiebreaker system sort it out.
Montesano did their part and beat Hoquiam, but the Lady Cruisers fell to the Elma Eagles, 48-36, eliminating their shot at second place.
Struggling with injuries, Eatonville trailed the entire game and were hampered by turnovers all night.
Andersen led Eatonville with 16 points, putting her at 490 points for her career, only 10 points shy of the coveted 500-points club.
The Cruisers finished in third place in the Evergreen Conference and have received the No. 3 seed in the district playoffs. They will travel to Vancouver, Washington on Thursday to take on the No. 2-seeded King's Way Christian Knights. That game will tip off at 6 p.m.
HOQUIAM 53, EATONVILLE 40
Eatonville 10 13 13 4 - 40
Hoquiam 7 17 18 11 - 53
Eatonville: Bailey Andersen 14, Hannah Kralik 9, Hailey Hall 5, Brooke Blocker 5, Sara Smith 3
Hoquiam: Bonney-Spradlin 17, Folkers 11, Chloe Kennedy 11, Broadhead 7, Cady 4, Howard 2, Gordon 1
ELMA 48, EATONVILLE 36
Eatonville 4 12 11 9 - 36
Elma 9 16 10 13 – 48
Eatonville: Bailey Andersen 16, Alayna Meyer 6, Hailey Hall 6, Brooke Blocker 4, Sara Smith 4.
Elma: Mia Monroe 14, Aaleigha Weld 10, Eliza Sibbett 9, Olivia Moore 8, Emmie Spencer 4, Jackie DeMoss 3.