Arizona trip ends with third-place finish for Eatonville

The Eatonville girls basketball team poses for a team photo at sunset while in Arizona participating in the Coyote Basketball Invitational.

The Eatonville girls basketball team poses for a team photo at sunset while in Arizona participating in the Coyote Basketball Invitational.
Kahla Hall

The Eatonville Cruiser girls basketball team finished off the year with a strong appearance at the Coyote Basketball Invitational in Arizona, ultimately securing third place.

The opening game against the Agua Fria Owls proved to be a nail-biter, with the Cruisers falling short by a slim margin, 46-47. Despite facing challenges with Agua Fria's relentless press, Eatonville displayed grit, staging an 8-0 run in the second quarter to take the lead. Eatonville struggled against Agua Fria's persistent press, resulting in turnovers and missed opportunities. Scoring leaders for Eatonville included Bailey Andersen with 16 points and Lilian Bickford with 11.

In a commanding performance against the Wickenburg Wranglers, the Cruisers dominated with a 57-20 victory. Andersen led the scoring charts with an impressive 25 points, while Hailey Hall contributed a season-high 12 points.

Facing the host team, the Arizona Lutheran Coyotes, Eatonville played well in a comeback win, securing a spot in the semifinals with a 55-53 triumph. Andersen's clutch 3-pointer and Bickford's game-winning basket were pivotal moments in the team's success. Andersen recorded a season-high 33 points, with Bickford adding 10.

Game 4 proved to be a physically demanding encounter as the Cruisers faced the aggressive Valley Christian Trojans. Despite a competitive start, Eatonville succumbed to a 53-36 defeat. Valley Christian's formidable defense and a robust 3rd quarter expanded the lead, leaving the Cruisers unable to mount a comeback. The game's physical nature took a toll on the team, with Hailey Hall enduring a hard hit to the eye that resulted in a black eye and missing eyelashes. Lilian Bickford and Bailey Andersen led Eatonville with 12 points each.

Undeterred by previous setbacks, the Cruisers sought redemption in a rematch against the Agua Fria Owls in Game 5. Eatonville secured a convincing 42-25 victory, claiming third place in the tournament. Andersen again led the scoring with 15 points, and Hailey Hall recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Reflecting on the team's Arizona experience, Coach Andersen commended the players for adapting to travel and a different style of play. She highlighted the valuable lessons learned in overcoming challenges and expressed confidence.


In a challenging start to the 2024 season, the Eatonville Lady Cruiser basketball team faced a 57-43 defeat against Montesano in the 1A Evergreen League opener.

Eatonville found themselves in early foul trouble, with four of their five starters accumulating three fouls each by halftime. The Cruisers struggled to find their rhythm from the onset, and Montesano took advantage, securing a 10-point lead by the end of the first quarter with a score of 17-7. 

Montesano continued to dominate in the second quarter, extending their lead to 20 points, leading 36-16 at halftime. Despite the uphill battle, Eatonville displayed renewed energy in the third quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 15-12. Sara Smith played a pivotal role in this comeback effort, scoring eight of her season-high 12 points in the third quarter. The Cruisers maintained their momentum in the final frame, outscoring Montesano 12-9. However, their late surge wasn't enough to overcome the deficit, resulting in a 57-43 defeat. 

The loss drops Eatonville to 0-1 in league play and an 8-5 overall season record.

Bailey Andersen led the Cruisers with 14 points, while Smith had a standout performance with a season-high 12 points.

Up next, the Cruisers have a couple of home games lined up against the Rochester Warriors, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m., followed by a game against the Elma Eagles on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m. To wrap up the week, they'll hit the road, traveling to Hoquiam to face off against the Grizzlies on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m.


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