No. 3 Napavine beats Cruisers in matchup of hot teams

Eatonville's Amari Samuel, shown in a game earlier this season, led the Cruisers with nine points in a losing effort against Napavine.

Eatonville's Amari Samuel, shown in a game earlier this season, led the Cruisers with nine points in a losing effort against Napavine.
Annie Norman

In a clash of winning streaks, the Eatonville Cruiser boys’ basketball team faced a formidable challenge against the No. 3 ranked Napavine Tigers.

With both teams riding impressive runs, Eatonville on a 4-game streak and Napavine boasting an undefeated 7-game stretch, the stage was set for a competitive showdown. However, the game didn't unfold favorably for the Cruisers, as the Tigers dominated, securing a decisive 71-38 victory this past Thursday evening in Napavine.

The Cruisers began the game with promise, initiating a 4-0 run. However, Napavine swiftly shifted the momentum with a commanding 14-0 run, leaving Eatonville trailing 20-6 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw both teams exchanging baskets, but an 8-0 run by the Tigers further extended their lead, leaving the Cruisers in a 38-16 deficit at halftime.

Napavine continued to assert their dominance after the break, embarking on a 6-0 run to widen the gap. Although the Cruisers managed an 8-0 run late in the quarter, they entered the final frame facing a substantial 56-29 deficit.

The Tigers started the fourth quarter with a decisive 13-0 run. The Cruiser offense, heavily reliant on three-point shots, struggled to find its mark, while Napavine showcased consistent accuracy. Turnovers haunted Eatonville throughout the game, preventing any chance of a comeback.

The final score stood at 71-38 in favor of Napavine, handing Eatonville their fifth loss of the season, bringing their overall record to 6-5.

“We got in our own way too much tonight,” said Head Coach TJ Cotterill on the loss. “Give Napavine a lot of credit, they were tough defensively and they tried to take away what we do best offensively. We settled for too many tough looks instead of hunting great looks.”

Cotterill went on to compliment Amari Samuel and Michael Stogsdill on their play.

“Amari did a fantastic job on Napavine’s James Groce and Michael was incredible in the passing lanes and his effort,” he said.

Individual scoring for Eatonville included Samuel with 9 points, Griffin Clevenger with 8 points, Hunter Klumpar contributing 7 points, and both Dylan Norman and Stogsdill with season-high 7 points each.

Eatonville had tough non-league schedule and Cotterill feels that has prepared his team for the rest of the year.

“We took some lumps, but we also have seen what kind of potential we have when we're playing together, tough and disciplined,” Cotterill said. “We're focused on channeling that. We had a tough non-league schedule that we feel has really prepared us for the slate we have coming up.”

Looking ahead, Eatonville will take a brief rest before delving into 1A Evergreen League play. Their next challenge is set for Thursday, Jan. 4, as they hit the road to face the Montesano Bulldogs at Bo Griffith Memorial Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment