Eatonville boys riding three-game win streak

Walker Bruun races up court in Eatonville’s 69-62 victory over Rainier on Saturday night.

Walker Bruun races up court in Eatonville’s 69-62 victory over Rainier on Saturday night.
Cheryl Taylor

After being idle for nearly a week, the Eatonville Cruiser boys basketball team started back up on Friday night when they welcomed the Montesano Bulldogs to Rainier Connect Arena to open up 1A Evergreen Conference league play and promptly took care of the Bulldogs, 69-47.

Eatonville used a 10-0 run late in the first quarter to pull ahead by 15 points at 24-9 and distance themselves from the Bulldogs as the teams entered the second frame. That 10-0 run would be the key to their victory.

The final three quarters were played very close.

After trailing by 17 points at the half, Montesano made a late charge to open up the fourth quarter by putting together a 7-0 run to pull within 13, but the Cruisers quickly shut that down. They went on another 10-0 run to squash the Bulldogs’ hopes of a comeback, and Eatonville wrapped up the 69-47 victory.

The Cruisers were active on the glass, pulling down 32 rebounds.

“Rebounding has been the one area that just hadn’t quite clicked for us over our non-league schedule,” coach TJ Cotterill said. “We knew Montesano would play hard, and they would play physical, so it certainly continued to be an emphasis for us tonight. Shay (Brannon) and Kyle (Cox) really got after it on the glass tonight.”

Cotterill also mentioned the team’s free throw shooting after they shot an abysmal 27-for-56 (48 percent) in their previous three games. They were 11-for-14 from the line in this game.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t lose sleep with us going 13-for-32 from the free-throw line in our first game in Alaska,” Cotterill said. “We’re certainly much better at the line than that, and tonight showed that.”

Shay Brannon led the Cruisers with 22 points. Griffin Clevenger led the Cruisers with seven steals and made a difference on defense.


The Cruisers finished off the week traveling to Rainier to take on the Rainier Mountaineers (7-3) in a non-league affair.

The Rainiers were riding a five-game winning streak, and the Cruisers wanted to extend their own streak.

The Cruisers snapped the Mountaineers’ streak and extended their own to three games with a 69-62 victory.

After trailing by eight points at the half, the Cruisers made some adjustments at halftime and stormed back in the third period to trail by one, 44-43.

“We did have to make some halftime adjustments: capitalize better on the looks we were getting and run their shooters off the three-point line,” Cotterill said. “We didn’t panic. We talked before the game about how we’d have to withstand their runs and not get too high when we make ours. We just kept playing with a next-right-play mentality.”

Despite the Rainiers’ hot start, the Cruisers ended the game a bit hotter, dropping 26 points in the final quarter and hitting 8-9 from the free-throw line in the quarter to secure the victory.

Walker Bruun scored a career-high 29 points, and the Cruisers shot 83 percent from the foul line as a team.

“Walker played fantastic, fearlessly attacking the basket, playing patient in the paint, and shooting with confidence,” Cotterill said. “When he’s shooting with space and playing with the green light, we’re constantly reinforcing that he has, he is so dangerous, and his ability to attack the paint opens up so much for everybody else. He’s going to continue to be an explosive player heading into the rest of league play.”

Next up, the Cruisers will head to Stone City to take on the red-hot Tenino Beavers at 7 p.m. today before wrapping up the week at home by hosting the Hoquiam Grizzlies at 7 p.m. Friday.


Eatonville 24 18 14 13 — 69

Montesano 9 16 11 11 — 47

Eatonville: Shay Brannon 22, Walker Bruun 13, Griffin Clevenger 12, Kyle Cox 10, Hunter Klumpar 7, Michael Stogsdill 3, Mark Nueva 2.

Montesano: Tyce Peterson 16, Camden Taylor 16, Christian Olsen 9, Jason Wilson 4, Peyton Damasiewicz 2


Eatonville 15 11 17 26 — 69

Rainier 23 11 10 18 — 62

Eatonville: Walker Bruun 29, Shay Brannon 20, Kyle Cox 12, Hunter Klumpar 6, Shane Taylor 2

Rainier: Jimmy Meldrum 22, Hunter Howell 12, Josh Meldrum 10, Hunter Owen 8, Ian Sprouffske 4, Johnny Boesch 3.


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