Cruiser girls start week off strong, then drop two

The Cruiser girls basketball team flexes during a photo shoot prior to the 2022-23 season.

The Cruiser girls basketball team flexes during a photo shoot prior to the 2022-23 season.
Amy Wilson

The Eatonville girl basketball team reached the championship game of the Centralia Tigers Holiday Classic tournament, losing to Eisenhower, to end the year, then kicked off the new year with a 39-31 win against the 2A Rochester Warriors.

Eatonville got off to a slow start in the game and trailed by eight as they started the second quarter.

While the Lady Cruisers got their offense on track in the second period, they still found themselves trailing at halftime, 20-14.

Eatonville turned things around and made their move in the third quarter. They outscored the Warriors, 13-6, to pull within one point as the quarter ended.

In the final frame, the Lady Cruiser offense continued to step up while the defense held Rochester to five points to pick up their eighth win of the season, 39-31.

“We altered our defense, fought for every rebound, and turned up the pressure on the guards,” coach Deanna Andersen said of the team’s turnaround. “Lilian (Bickford) hit a couple of clutch shots under the hoop, giving us some room to push harder. Hannah (Kralik) used her speed to take the point guard off her game, giving Bailey (Andersen) a chance to tip a few away for some lay-ins.”

After recording her lowest-scoring game of the season in the previous game, Bailey Andersen scored a game-high 20 points for the Cruisers, with 16 of those coming in the second half.

Following that win on the road at Rochester, Eatonville headed to Montesano to take on the Bulldogs.

The Lady Cruisers struggled with Montesano’s full-court press and swarming defense all night, and that allowed the No.-4 ranked Bulldogs to hand Eatonville a 64-14 loss in their 1A EvCo league opener on Thursday night.

With a stifling defense and relentless rebounding, Montesano deployed the full-court press from the tip and never let up and outrebounded the Cruisers, 36-11.

Looking to rebound from that loss, the Cruisers took on the No.-6 ranked Rainier Mountaineers (10-1) in a non-league match-up.

The Mountaineers raced out to a huge early lead Saturday and kept that huge lead as they beat the Lady Cruisers, 60-36, to drop Eatonville to 8-3 on the season.

For the second night in a row, the Cruisers struggled with the press, and that helped Rainer jump out to a 24-7 lead in the first quarter, and the Cruisers trailed 40-14 at the half.

In the second half, Eatonville started to find a few more answers. They kept things mostly even in the third quarter before outscoring Rainier in the fourth as the clock wound down.

Next, the Lady Cruisers will finish the week traveling to Hoquiam to take on the Grizzles at 7 p.m. Thursday.


Eatonville 3 11 13 12 — 39

Rochester 11 9 6 5 — 31

Eatonville: Bailey Andersen 20, Lilian Bickford 8, Hannah Kralik 6, Hailey Hall 2, Brooke Blocker 1, Sara Smith 1, Ryan Stammen 1

Rochester: Roisin Stull 15, Paige Winter 8, Mandy Andree-Cordell 6, Sara Haury 2


Eatonville 7 3 4 0 — 14

Montesano 22 21 19 2 — 64

Eatonville: Bailey Andersen 7, Lilian Bickford 4, Hannah Kralik 3

Montesano: McKynnlie Dalan 22, Jillie Dalan 13, Jordan Karr 9, Mikayla Stanfield 8, Jaiden King 5, Maia Young 4, Ava Schrader 2, Lizzy York 1


Eatonville 7 7 11 11 — 36

Rainier 24 16 14 6 — 60

Eatonville: Bailey Andersen 24, Lilian Bickford 6, Brooke Blocker 4, Hailey Hall 2

Rainier: Angelica Askey 22, Brooklyn Swensen 18, Anika Plowman 8, Haleigh Hanson 6, Acacia Murphy 5, Janess Blackburn 1


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