The Lady Cruiser basketball team got back to its winning ways last week with victories over Tenino and Hoquiam to push their overall record to 10-3 and 2-1 in 1A Evergreen Conference play and move them into the second-place spot.
The team put in a dominant performance Jan. 10 with their defense while their offense exploded for 63 points as they cruised to a 63-18 victory over the Tenino Beavers.
Holding the Beavers to only four first-half points and 18 overall helped the Cruisers end their two-game skid and even up their league record to 1-1.
Eatonville opened the game on a 17-0 run. They went on a 10-0 run to start the second quarter before Tenino made its first bucket of the night halfway through the quarter. The Cruisers headed into the locker room at halftime with a commanding 27-4 lead.
"We were outplayed two games in a row and the team did not want that to happen again,” coach Deanna Andersen said. “They were very focused at practice on Monday, and we fine-tuned some things. Montesano showed us how effective a defense can be, and we used that to inspire ours and they really stepped up the intensity. It helped to have the team back to health as well, so we could play everyone and keep them fresh.”
The Cruisers came out in the third quarter with a little more tenacity than in the previous half. They scored 24 points in the quarter to take a 51-8 lead into the final period before cruising to a 63-18 victory.
Ryan Stammen and Hannah Kralik's defense against the Beavers' point guard was pivotal in the game. They often prevented Tenino from getting the ball across the half court line, which caused turnovers. On Tenino's first possession, the Cruisers set the tempo early when Kralik forced a jump ball, and then Stammen stole the inbounds pass following that jump ball.
Andersen praised Stammen and Kralik for their defensive play.
"We have been working hard on clean, quick defense to pressure the guards, and this was a great test for Hannah and Ryan,” Andersen said. “They go all out with effort, and they are learning to get good position so as to not get the fouls. The refs called a tight game on them, so it was great experience as they continue to improve."
Offensively, every Cruiser who suited up saw minutes in the game and scored.
Andersen complimented the team on how well they support each other, as well.
"Our first string came out ready to redeem themselves after two tough losses on the road and gave us some breathing room from the start,” Andersen said. “This allowed the whole bench to play for large quantities of time. The whole team stepped up and played very hard and worked their positions well. This opened up opportunities for everyone on the roster to score. That, in itself, is a goal we had and shows how team-oriented the girls are. They all support each other."
Bailey Andersen led Eatonville with 18 points.
The Cruisers finished up the week with a trip to Hoquiam to take on the Grizzlies.
On a night where both teams had trouble scoring, Bailey Andersen posted 19 second-half points, including an 11-point fourth quarter to help the Cruisers take down the Hoquiam Grizzlies, 37-28.
Eatonville struggled with Hoquiam's press, which led to 36 Cruiser turnovers, but the team battled through the turnovers and came out on top.
The Cruisers played Elma Jan. 17, but results weren’t available by press time. They next will have a re-match against the Montesano Bulldogs Jan. 25 before taking on Elma again, Jan. 27. Both games will start at 7 p.m.
EATONVILLE 63, TENINO 18
Eatonville 17 10 24 12 – 63
Tenino 0 4 4 10 – 18
Eatonville: Bailey Andersen 18, Brooke Blocker 12, Alayna Meyer 9, Ryan Stammen 8, Hannah Kralik 5, Hailey Hall 4, Sara Smith 4, Ella Gendreau, Sadie Mettler 2, Lilian Bickford 2
Tenino: Brianna Asay 10, Seaonna Morgan 3, Kiyah Goodwin 2, Jaeleen Woodward 2, Rilee Jones 1
EATONVILLE 37, HOQUIAM 28
Eatonville 5 6 10 14 – 37
Hoquiam 6 0 7 15 – 28
Eatonville: Bailey Andersen 22, Hannah Kralik 4, Alayna Meyer 3, Brooke Blocker 3, Hailey Hall 2, Lilian Bickford 2, Ryan Stammen 1
Hoquiam: Chloe Kennedy 10, Graci Bonney-Spradlin 9, Ashlinn Cady 7, Katlyn Brodhead 2.