Prairie bounces back, plus tidbits on all Clark County 4A and 3A teams
4A Greater St. Helens League:
Everyone knows about Union. Until a team beats Union in league play, Union is still Union.
And with a perfect 12-0 start, people are talking about Skyview. That is what 12-0 will do.
However, there is another team that is making a move. The Camas Papermakers are 10-2 going into Class 4A Greater St. Helens League play.
Those three teams, in fact, are in the top seven among Class 4A teams in the state’s RPI rankings.
Here are some notes on all the 4A GSHL squads with league play beginning Wednesday.
Battle Ground (7-5)
The Tigers followed up a three-game losing streak to win three in a row in a holiday tournament under coach Manny Melo, in his first season with the program.
“We are a young team with a lot of potential going into league,” Melo said. “We’ve grown a lot throughout the non-league schedule … winning our winter tournament in Astoria. We are figuring out how to ‘win’ games down the stretch. Doing what it takes to finish games.”
Kaden Perry averages a double-double with close to 15 points per game and 15 boards. Brendan Beal is averaging 11 points per game and has the most 3-pointers on the team. Vincent McCormic has the most assists.
“We learned that we have the ability to compete with the best teams in the state, but we also have the potential to lose on any given night if we don’t approach every game with the motivation to outwork our opponent and the focus and desire to win as a team,” coach Ryan Josephson said of the the first month of the season. “The Papermakers know that winning in league will mean we must hit the floor first for loose balls, treat every possession like it’s the most important in the game, and play together.”
Isaiah Sampson is leading a balanced scoring attack with 11.9 points per game. He also leads the team with 9.8 rebounds per outing.
Carson Bonine and Gabe Mukobi share the assist lead for the squad. Bonine, Ben Cooke, and Jack Glikbarg each are making better than 42 percent of their 3-point attempts.
“I learned over the first month that our guys play hard,” Heritage coach Ashton Clark said. “We are continuing to get better and are excited to get into league play.”
The Timberwolves did have a three-game win streak at one point and have won two of their last three.
Travis Van Riper and Sanjeet Singh are leading the team in scoring, both at better than 13 points per outing.
“The biggest surprise is how much the experience we have matters,” Skyview coach Matt Gruhler said. “It’s a nice advantage to have.”
Don’t get him wrong. He knew experience would be an asset. (He has three returning full-time starters, plus two more who played starter minutes last year.) It’s just the Storm have won all 12 games, including six close ones down the stretch. Every victory under stressful conditions just makes the team believe even more. That is only going to help the Storm in their goal of reaching the state round of 16.
For more on Skyview’s start to the season, here is a story that was posted last week: https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/sports/boys-basketball-skyview-hopes-10-0-record-just-a-start-of-s
Boys Basketball: Skyview hopes 10-0 record just a start of something special
Alex Schumacher is leading the Storm with 18.5 points and 4.1 assists per game. Samaad Hector is grabbing 12 boards a game and also is blocking two shots per game.
“We’ve learned we’re a very deep team. That’s exciting. We learned we have to really pay attention to the details. We need to be more detail oriented,” Union coach Blake Conley said. “We have a lot of fight in our team. I thought they would, but you never know what’s going to happen until the season starts. They’re very unselfish.”
Conley added that there have been some good outings and some bad.
“When we take care of the ball and rebound, we’re a tough team to beat,” he said.
Tyler Combs is averaging 18 points and 3.4 assists per game. Quinn Lamey is recording just shy of seven rebounds a game.
Here is a story we did earlier this season on the Union way of things:
Boys Basketball: The Union Way leads the way
Class 3A Greater St. Helens League
The Prairie Falcons have won six of their last seven games heading into league play, and it’s a league they dominated last season. Prairie went 10-0 in the 3A GSHL and won those games by an average of 21 points. So yeah, with all-league performers back, Prairie is the team to beat in the league.
Hudson’s Bay has had a strong performance in the non-league schedule. Fort Vancouver also has a winning record, as does Kelso.
Here are some notes on the Clark County teams in the 3A GSHL:
“We played a difficult preseason schedule (Union, Skyview, Spanaway Lake, and Lake Oswego) and learned a lot about what we need to do to finish in the top half of our league,” first-year Evergreen coach Brett Henry said. “We are improving our team defense daily, and we continue to emphasize sharing the ball and making the extra pass. The kids have really bought in to what we are trying to accomplish, and we are excited to see how it translates in our league.”
Brock Schoene leads a balanced attack in scoring at 11.6 points per game. He also is grabbing 5.6 boards an outing. Dwight Jones is right there at 11.4 points and leads the team in steals. Jeremy Harju is scoring 10.1 points per game and leads the team with 3.6 assists a game.
Fort Vancouver (6-4)
“We have a ways to go to compete for playoff wins. We also need to play the right way to beat really good basketball teams,” Fort coach James Ensley said.
For a bit more on Fort, here is a story we posted last month:
Boys Basketball: Fort Vancouver unafraid of competition
James Husband Jr. (16.6 points per game), Jameel Morton (16.2) and Johnny Green (13.6) lead the Trappers in scoring.
Hudson’s Bay (7-2)
The Eagles have jumped out to a 7-2 record, with the two losses coming by a combined nine points. Oh, it gets tougher now that league play has arrived. But the Eagles have some confidence.
A year ago, the team relied on one player for most of the scoring. This year, there are multiple players who have put up double-digit points in a game.
“We are in a very tough league, so we will just work to compete,” Bay coach Theo Mikaele said.
Eli Hoover and Quadrese Teague are the team leaders going into January. Hoover is averaging 12.5 points and 7 boards per game. Teague is at 11 points and 5.5 assists
Mountain View (3-7)
“It has been a rollercoaster of a first 10 games. Some good, some bad, and some growing up to do,” coach JC Alexander said. “We are a very young team, in terms of experience, but we play hard from start to finish and are growing every game, learning and figuring out how to win games. The best is yet to come from the Mountain View Thunder.”
Alex Bailey (16.1 ppg) has been leading the team in scoring all season. Alex Hegel is close to 10 points per game. Phllip Earnhardt and Will Prescott are the defensive leaders. Prescott and Hegel are the team leaders in rebounds, too.
The coach also noted the effort of Jordan Cook and the outside shooting of Kaden Horn for providing sparks.
“We were kind of on the edge, starting 0-3,” Prairie coach Kyle Brooks said.
Of course, two of those losses came against Skyview and Camas, who are a combined 22-2 right now and in the top seven of the Class 4A RPI rankings.
Still, 0-3 was a bit nerve-racking for the Falcons.
“When you lose early like that, it causes you to learn in a hurry,” Brooks said. “They did a good job of learning in a hurry. We were optimistic because we played really good teams.”
Brooks added that the teams is getting better every game.
Kameron Osborn is averaging 22 points per game and is one of the best players in the region. He scores all those points but is also unselfish, a guy who is always looking for an open teammate, too.
The Falcons have other scorers, too. Dante Heitschmidt broke the school record with nine 3-pointers in a game earlier this season. Braiden Broadbent was second-team, all-league last year and hit the dagger shot against Kamiakin in Prairie’s last game.
Logan Reed and Matthew Kogler provide Prairie with its rebounding needs.