Storm rally to beat Camas, clinch league championship
VANCOUVER — The Skyview Storm wanted to end all the drama on Monday.
So they pulled out all the dramatics to do just that.
Skyview scored the final nine points of the game Monday night, rallying to beat Camas 56-51 to claim the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League girls basketball championship.
Had they lost, the Storm would have had to win Wednesday against Union or face the potential for a three-way tie for first place.
Now, Wednesday’s game means virtually nothing to the Storm. Well, except for bragging rights. They would love to finish league play undefeated.
No matter, though, they will finish the 2019-20 basketball season as league champs.
“It means everything,” said senior Kazz Parks, who led Skyview with 19 points and also had the defensive play of the night and assisted on the go-ahead basket.
“Last year, we didn’t beat Camas or Union,” said Addison MacPherson, who made that shot to give Skyview a 53-51 lead with 31 seconds to play. “This is really big.”
Skyview is 3-0 against those teams this season. The Storm (12-4 overall) will be the top seed from District 4 going into the bi-district tournament, which begins next week. Skyview will get a home game in the first round, scheduled for Feb. 13.
Camas fell to 4-3 in league. The Papermakers could tie for second with Union but are assured of finishing in the top three, which qualifies them to the bi-district as well.
Camas scored first in the second half to break a tie, then led by as many as seven points twice in the fourth quarter. Faith Bergstrom led Camas with 17 points.
The Storm would not go away, though.
“Never give up. Keep pushing,” MacPherson said. “Rely on each other Don’t rely on just yourself. Work together.”
Parks said the Storm had trouble closing out games last year. Not anymore.
“We finished,” she said.
The Storm had to because Camas’ Emma Rehrer buried a 3-pointer with 1:15 to play to give the Papermakers a four-point lead.
It was all Skyview from there.
Parks and Mikelle Anthony tied the game with free throws on back-to-back possessions. Then came The Play.
The Papermakers had run a similar play all night, driving toward the baseline, then throwing a hard skip pass toward the arc for an open look.
“I was ready for that,” Parks said.
She positioned herself perfectly, got in that passing lane, stole the ball, and started the fast break.
“Defense is what makes our offense,” she said.
She found MacPherson just ahead of the Camas defense.
“If she wasn’t there, I would have taken it,” Parks said. “I knew she busted her ass down there, I was going to give her the ball.”
MacPherson knew what to do.
“Make sure you get fouled or you make the shot,” she told herself. “Don’t miss it.”
She made it.
After the Papermakers missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Parks was true from the line again for a 55-51 lead. MacPherson added another free throw in the closing seconds.
Skyview celebrated by cutting down the nets. The Storm didn’t even have to wait until the last game of the schedule.
Class 4A GSHL boys basketball:
The Skyview Storm had no trouble against Camas in the first of a series of games that will determine the No. 2 seed from the league. Or not.
Skyview beat Camas 61-44 to improve to 4-3 in league play but will face undefeated Union on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Battle Ground beat Heritage to also move to 4-3. Camas fell to 3-4 and plays Battle Ground on Wednesday.
If Camas wins and Union beats Skyview, there will be a three-way tie for second place. Only two teams can join Union at bi-district. If Battle Ground wins and Union beats Skyview, it will be Battle Ground No. 2 and Skyview No. 3. If Battle Ground and Skyview win, those teams will tie for second.