Camas, Clackamas highlight Prairie-Cascades Girls Basketball Tournament this weekend

There are 20 high school girls basketball varsity teams playing summer league games at Prairie and Heritage High Schools this weekend as part of the Prairie-Cascades Girls Basketball Tournament, including Camas and Clackamas
The Camas girls basketball team, which finished second in state in March, is preparing for next school year. The Papermakers are playing in the prestigious Prairie-Cascades Girls Basketball Tournament this weekend. The tournament is held at Prairie and Heritage High Schools. Photo courtesy Heather Tianen

Clackamas is the reigning Class 6A state champion from Oregon, and Camas was the 4A runner up in Washington this past season

Paul Valencia

Some of the best high school girls basketball teams in the Northwest will be playing in Clark County this weekend at the Prairie-Cascades Girls Basketball Tournament.

That includes local powerhouse Camas. The Papermakers finished second in Class 4A Washington this past season. 

High school basketball teams often play tournaments for summer ball, trying to get as much preparation as possible before the next school year.

The Prairie-Cascades tournament, founded by six-time state champion coach Al Aldridge, tries to bring the best of the best each year. This year’s event is being held at Prairie High School and Heritage High School.

Clackamas, the Class 6A state champion from Oregon, is in the field this week. So is Beaverton, the 2022 Oregon state champion. Then there is Benson, another perennial power, as well as Oregon City. 

Camas will be playing Oregon City, Benson, and Clackamas this weekend. Camas coach Scott Thompson said that summer ball might not be quite as intense as the regular season. Certainly not as much fanfare. No bands. No student sections.

But it’s still basketball.

“A lot of these teams, like us and Clackamas, we know each other really well,” Thompson said. “There is a competitive fire. When we step on the court against them, we sure as heck don’t want to lose.”

The two teams split a couple of games during this past regular season.

In the postseason, Camas made a run to the championship game, falling to Eastlake at the Tacoma Dome. One week later, Clackamas took care of business in Oregon, winning the state title at the Chiles Center in Portland. 

Camas did not have a senior play in its state tournament. The team will return its main rotation. Two seniors-to-be, Addison Harris and Reagan Jamison, have Division-I basketball scholarship offers. Several underclassmen either have or expect offers, too.

It should be noted that not all players are available during summer ball. Multi-sport athletes, for example, might be playing another sport this weekend. 

In all, 20 high school varsity girls basketball teams will be competing this weekend and another 18 JV squads. Games start at 9 a.m. at Prairie and Heritage High Schools. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students. 

Camas is playing Oregon City at 2 p.m. Saturday at Heritage High School and then faces Benson at 4 p.m. On Sunday, Camas will take on Clackamas at 11 a.m., also at Heritage. The Papermakers will play a fourth game, against an opponent to be determined, at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Other Clark County teams expected to compete this weekend: Battle Ground, Columbia River, Heritage, Prairie, Ridgefield, Seton Catholic, Union, Washougal, and Woodland.

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