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State basketball: Skyview makes it to Saturday

Storm earn a trophy; Season ends for Camas girls

TACOMA — The Skyview Storm will bring home a trophy from their first appearance in the boys basketball state tournament.

Samaad Hector, who scored the game-winning basket Wednesday to send the Storm to the quarterfinals, had the game of his life Friday, leading Skyview to a 64-56 victory over Kamiakin in a Class 4A loser-out, consolation game in the Tacoma Dome.

Hector scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. He nearly had a double-double in the third quarter alone — 12 points, nine rebounds — as the Storm took control.

Skyview senior Samaad Hector, shown here earlier this week, had the best game of his career Friday, leading the Storm to a trophy game at the Class 4A state tournament. Hector had 26 points and 17 rebounds in a 64-56 win over Kamiak. The Storm will play Enumclaw for fourth place Saturday. Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin
Skyview senior Samaad Hector, shown here earlier this week, had the best game of his career Friday, leading the Storm to a trophy game at the Class 4A state tournament. Hector had 26 points and 17 rebounds in a 64-56 win over Kamiak. The Storm will play Enumclaw for fourth place Saturday. Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin

“Yesterday I lost my lucky camouflage bucket hat. I told the security guard (at the dome) that I was going to take it out on Kamiak,” Hector said. “Kamiak wasn’t lucky.”

Skyview will take on Enumclaw in the fourth-place game at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The loser of that game will place sixth.

No doubt, the Storm want fourth, but just getting a trophy, any trophy, is an accomplishment for a program that had never gone beyond a bi-district tournament until this season.

The Storm improved to 25-5, proud of their effort Friday after a tough loss in the championship quarterfinals Thursday evening. Senior Cole Grossman, who had eight points, eight rebounds, and five assists against Kamiak, was one of the leaders Friday morning, trying to pump up his teammates before their early afternoon game.

“We were obviously down (from the loss). We missed our shot that we were working for all year. That loss put a sting in our mouth. But we can’t stay down,” Grossman said. “We have another chance. We have a chance to get a trophy. Just any way I could to lift my teammates up.”

Alex Schumacher scored 19 points for Skyview, including nine in the first quarter as the Storm made it known they were, indeed, focused for Friday. Skyview had a three-point lead at the half.

Then Hector unleashed the quarter of his career with his 12-9 stat line.

“In the third quarter, for some reason it felt like I had ESP,” Hector said. “I could sense things a half-second before everyone else. It worked out in my favor.”

He ended up with 18 points and 12 rebounds for the second half to give him his total of 26-17.

“Unbelievable,” Skyview coach Matt Gruhler said. “Might have been one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. They had three guys over 6-5, and he dominated the game. Every time he touched it, he was a threat to score. Every shot that missed, I felt he was going to get.”

Hector had his epic game, Schumacher was his usual solid self, but the coach also wanted to point out seniors Grossman and Jovon Sewell.

“That’s why we are where we are at,” Gruhler said. “Guys have bought into their roles. They do it for each other. You don’t go 25-5 by having guys play as individuals.”

Together, the Storm promised to give it their all Friday, to make it to Saturday, to get their prize.

“Our guys were like, ‘No, we’re not going home today,’” Gruhler said.

Class 4A girls

Kentridge 60, Camas 44

The Camas Papermakers played inspired basketball Friday morning but tired in the second half of their consolation semifinal game in the Class 4A girls basketball state tournament.

Their season came to an end with a 17-10 record that featured another 4A Greater St. Helens League championship and a second consecutive appearance in the state quarterfinals.

The Papermakers did not hide their disappointment in the result. Yes, they wanted to earn a trophy from the state tournament for the first time in program history, but perhaps more important to them, they wanted to play one more game together.

The three senior starters talked about the squad’s chemistry.

“We are all just one big family,” Maggie Wells said.

“It’s more than a team. It is a family,” Jillian Webb agreed. “There is a bond with every single person we have on the team. We all love each other.”

The Papermakers also love where they come from, and how far they have taken the program. Last year was the first trip to the dome for the program. This year’s seniors helped get them back there. And they notice how many other programs play in cities with multiple high schools.

“It’s great coming here and representing an entire town,” Courtney Clemmer said. “We get to represent every single person we love.”

Camas was hoping to make it to a Saturday trophy game and had a great start toward accomplishing that goal, scoring 20 first-quarter points to take an early lead. Haley Hanson made two 3-pointers to beat the shot clock, plus she had two assists to Clemmer in the quarter.

The Papermakers managed a six-point lead at the half, but Kentridge held Camas to 15 second-half points. Jordyn Jenkins had 23 points and seven rebounds for Kentridge.

Camas’ final game of the season featured three Papermakers reaching double figures. Clemmer led the team with 14 points and five rebounds. Marianna Payne added 13 points, and Hanson finished with 11.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia

Paul Valencia joins after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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