Eatonville's Amari Samuel drives against the Hoquiam defense during the Cruisers' loss to the Grizzlies.
The Eatonville boys basketball team endured a challenging week as they suffered defeats in both of their 1A Evergreen League games.
The week started with high hopes as the Cruisers aimed to break their three-game losing streak. Facing the Elma Eagles on Jan. 16, at Rainier Connect Arena, Eatonville struggled early on.
The Eagles would put the game away early in the first quarter by holding the Cruisers to single digits while dropping 24 points to take a 16 point lead, 24-8 into the second frame.
Elma continued its dominance in the second quarter, outscoring Eatonville 16-9 and extending their lead to 23 points by halftime, with the score standing at 40-17.
Despite Eatonville's efforts in the third quarter, Elma maintained a substantial lead, scoring 26 points and widening the gap to 36, finishing the quarter at 66-30.
The final quarter saw Elma's defense sink their claws into the Cruisers shutting out them out while adding 12 points to their own tally, resulting in a convincing 78-30 victory for the Eagles.
Hunter Klumpar led Eatonville with 14 points.
BIG RUN FOR HOQUIAM
Undeterred, the Cruisers embarked on a trip to the Grays Harbor area to face the Hoquiam Grizzlies on Jan. 20.
The Grizzlies wouldn’t mess around and would grab the lead with the first bucket of the game and never look back.
Hoquiam started the game on a 7-0 run and then after an Amari Samuel 3 pointer, the Grizzlies would use a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 9 points and lead 25-14 after one quarter of play.
The Cruisers made a comeback in the second quarter with a 13-2 run, tying the game at 27-27 on a Logan Taylor basket at the midway point of the quarter. However, Hoquiam responded with a 6-0 run to regain the lead, finishing the first half leading 35-31.
The third quarter proved decisive, as Hoquiam dominated with a 23-0 run, outscoring the Cruisers 25-5 and expanding their lead to 24 points by the end of the quarter, with the score at 60-36.
Eatonville faced additional challenges when Hunter Klumpar sustained an injury in the third quarter, keeping him on the bench until the 6:15 mark of the 4th quarter. In the final period, Hoquiam extended their lead with a 6-0 run to open the frame, ultimately securing a 79-44 victory.
Klumpar led the Cruisers with 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Amari Samuel contributed 11 points. Nate Good was productive on the boards with 7 rebounds and 6 points.
The loss dropped Eatonville to a 6-8 overall record and 0-4 in 1A Evergreen League play, significantly impacting its playoff hopes.
With a five-game losing streak, Eatonville faces an uphill battle to secure a playoff spot. The upcoming key matchups against Montesano on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at Rainier Connect Arena in Eatonville, and at Brock Court in Tenino on Friday, Jan. 26, will be crucial for the team's postseason aspirations.