Eatonville High School's boys basketball seniors pose for a photo with their coaches.
In a challenging matchup for the Eatonville Cruiser boys basketball team, the struggle persisted as they faced their eighth consecutive defeat to the Hoquiam Grizzlies 80-63.
Prior to the game the Cruisers honored seniors Griffin Clevenger, Isaiah Duncan, Hunter Klumpar, Dylan Norman, Mark Nueva, Favien Pina and Logan Taylor.
Despite the ceremonial festivities, the Cruisers found themselves in an early battle as the Grizzlies took an initial lead. However, Favien Pina sparked a glimmer of hope for the Cruisers with a spectacular 4-point play. Pina's three-pointer from the corner, coupled with a successful free throw following a foul, propelled the Cruisers to an early 4-2 lead. The teams traded blows, with Eatonville extending their lead to as much as 9 points in the first quarter. However, Hoquiam squad closed the gap with a 6-0 run, concluding the quarter at 22-17.
The momentum shifted in the second quarter as Hoquiam orchestrated a 12-0 run, seizing the lead and maintaining control. Outscoring Eatonville 23-8 in the quarter, the Grizzlies entered halftime with a commanding 40-30 advantage.
Eatonville battled to trim the deficit in the third quarter, narrowing it to 8 points before Hoquiam responded with timely three-pointers, pushing their lead back to 14. A subsequent 12-0 run by the Grizzlies closed out the quarter with a substantial 65-44 lead.
Despite an 8-0 run by the Cruisers in the final quarter, Hoquiam's defense stood strong in the 80-63 victory.
Nueva led the scoring for Eatonville with 16 points, supported by contributions from Clevenger and Duncan, each with 12 points.
The Cruisers displayed effective defense against Hoquiam's leading scorer, freshman guard Lincoln Niemi, limiting him to only 2 points in the game. However, this defensive focus opened opportunities for other Grizzlies, with Zander Jump scoring 30 points and Chance LaBounty adding 17.
The rebounding battle proved to be a significant challenge for the Cruisers, as Hoquiam dominated the boards with a staggering 58-22 advantage, including a notable 23-8 edge on the offensive glass.
In a season finale showdown on Friday, Eatonville aimed to reverse their fortunes against the Elma Eagles. Despite an impressive career-high performance from Klumpar, the Cruisers suffered their ninth consecutive loss, losing 70-52.
The game started on a promising note for the Cruisers, staying competitive with the Eagles and holding an early 7-6 lead. However, Elma swiftly dashed those hopes with a 12-0 run, establishing a comfortable 28-13 lead by the end of the first quarter.
As the Eagles continued to extend their lead, reaching as much as 22 points in the second quarter, the Cruisers managed to close the gap slightly with an 8-0 run, ending the first half at 40-26 with Klumpar led the charge for Eatonville with an impressive 15 points in the first half.
Despite Eatonville's efforts to chip away at the lead, a late 7-0 run by Elma solidified their dominance, heading into the final frame with a commanding 57-38 lead.
In the last quarter, the Cruisers outscored the Eagles 14-13. However, the outcome had already been decided, and the Cruisers ultimately fell short, 70-52.
Klumpar concluded the night with a career-high night. Recording a double-double, 32 points and 10 rebounds, including six successful three-pointers, tying his season-high. Nueva contributed 12 points to the effort.
With this loss, the Eatonville Cruisers conclude their season with a 6-13 overall record and a challenging 0-8 record in league play.