Mountain View impresses; plus tidbits on every team
Just like that, it’s time for the stretch run of the regular season in high school basketball. Some teams only have five or six games remaining on the schedule. Here are some notes on the Clark County teams in the Class 4A and 3A Greater St. Helens Leagues.
Class 4A Greater St. Helens League
Union Titans (15-0, 3-0 4A GSHL)
“We have learned that we are a deep team that plays hard and plays well together. From our schedule, we’ve been exposed to different styles of play and been able to adapt to those pretty well,” Union coach Blake Conley said. “We know we can’t be a team that peaks in December so we have to focus on getting better every day. The 4A GSHL is as tough a league as there is in the state, so what we’ve done in the non-league does not matter if we don’t play well in league games.”
Ethan Smith leads the team in scoring at 18.9 points per game. Tanner Toolson is grabbing 5.3 boards a game. Houston Combs is averaging 5.7 assists.
Union is No. 1 in the Class 4A RPI.
Skyview Storm (11-3, 2-0)
“Our team has had to relearn some things this year after losing last year’s seniors, especially our two starting posts. We have had to focus on team rebounding and team defense, because we can’t rely on just one or two guys to rebound or block shots,” Skyview coach Matt Gruhler said. “That being said, we made some big strides during the break.”
Gruhler noted the progression he has seen the past couple of weeks, with players understanding their roles.
Kyle Gruhler has become an elite rebounder, averaging nine per game. Jace Chatman has turned into a scorer, averaging double digits. Squeeky Johnson has done a “great job” as a pure point guard, the coach said, averaging five assists per game.
Alex Schumacher is leading the way in scoring. The reigning 4A GSHL Player of the Year is averaging 21.2 points per game.
With contributions from so many, the players have confidence in each other, the coach said.
Skyview also excelled at the prestigious Les Schwab Invitational, beating three teams that were ranked in the top 10 in Oregon.
“We showed that when we are at our best, we can play with some of the best teams around,” Gruhler said.
Skyview is No. 6 in the RPI.
Camas Papermakers (11-3, 1-1)
“We have grown in confidence over the course of a month,” Camas coach Ryan Josephson said. “Players are starting to understand how they can best contribute to the team. The group is collectively starting to learn how we want to play. It has become a nightly mission for us to win every rebounding battle.
“I like our chances in league play if we can continue playing great defense, win the boards, and take care of the ball on offense.”
Isaiah Sampson is leading the team in scoring at 15.7 points per game. He also has 9.2 rebounds and 3 assists a night.
Carson Bonine (12.5 ppg, 4.5 assists), Fox Bessinger (9.4 ppg) and Jackson Clemmer (7.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg) are also having strong performances for the Papermakers.
Camas is No. 8 in the RPI.
Battle Ground Tigers (9-5, 0-2)
“I learned our team has grown a lot from last year,” Battle Ground coach Manny Melo said. “Everyone has put in a lot of time, and it has really paid off. We’ve had a lot of different guys step up into big roles and make plays for us.”
Kaden Perry is averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Tigers. He has missed some action due to injury. And in case you missed it, we featured Perry in December. (https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/sports/hs-basketball-kaden-perrys-special-inspiration/)
Vincent McCormic is averaging better than 7 assists per game.
Battle Ground is No. 18 in the RPI.
Heritage Timberwolves (5-9, 0-3)
“The first month of the season seemed to be a blur for us,” coach Brian Childs said. “We had a stretch where we played 11 games in less than three weeks. We were able to have some success, but were really unable to practice much, which is something we could have used more of heading into league play.”
The Timberwolves lost their season opener and then reeled off five wins a row.
Unfortunately for them, the momentum did not continue over the holiday break. Now in league play, the team is in search of ending a losing streak.
Conner Childs leads a balanced scoring attack at 12.8 points per game. Capone Johnson and Jared Padley each are at 10.8 points per game. Johnson leads the team in rebounds and assists.
Class 3A Greater St. Helens League
Mountain View Thunder (8-5, 3-0)
“This group of boys is very resilient, and their ability to ‘flush it’ and move on to the next one has been great,” Mountain View coach JC Alexander said.
He appreciated the Thunder’s communication skills. The players have been able to figure out what works, and what does not work for them. Alexander said his players are coachable.
“Always attentive, asking questions, wanting to get better,” he said.
Kaden Horn leads the team 1ith 17 points per game and second in rebounding. He is making 47 percent of his 3-pointers.
Sam Frosh is scoring 10 points per game and has a 4:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Trevor Binder is leading the Thunder in rebounds.
Prairie Falcons (6-7, 1-2)
The Falcons graduated six seniors from last season and are adjusting to a lot of new faces. Not a tall team, either.
“Guys are improving each week, and we feel like our recent trip to Phoenix was a step in the right direction in terms of developing much needed team chemistry,” Prairie coach Kyle Brooks said.
In fact, Prairie came back from that trip and beat Class 4A Skyview in an impressive performance.
Before the holiday trip, the Falcons lost their first two in the 3A GSHL. On Tuesday, though, they picked up their first league win.
“We have dug ourselves a hole … and must dig ourselves out a game at a time hopefully,” Brooks said.
Kameron Osborn keeps going strong. He recently hit the 1,000-point mark in his career. He is averaging 21 points per game. Aidan Fraly is averaging 10 points. Zeke Dixson and AJ Dixson are tied for the team lead in rebounding.
Evergreen Plainsmen (5-8, 1-2)
“We learned how to deal with adversity during the first month of the season,” coach Brett Henry said. “Our best all-around player, Dwight Jones, broke his hand in practice the night before our first game. We had to adjust on the fly, and all of our guys have had to accelerate their growth.”
Win-loss has been mixed results. The hope for the Plainsmen is that these early season battles will prepare the team to battle for a top spot in league play.
Carter Monda leads the scoring at 18.2 points per game. Mario Herring is nearly averaging a double-double with 9.2 points and 10.5 rebounds.
Zyell Griffin is at 11.5 points per game. And Travis Huffman Jr. leads the team in assists.
Fort Vancouver Trappers (1-11, 1-2)
“We need to get better defensively and be more aggressive,” Fort Vancouver coach James Ensley said. “We need to do a better job at the little things and come together as a team.”
James Husband Jr. is leading the team in scoring at 18.1 per game. He does a little bit of everything, too, with 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 3 steals a night.
Kahlil Singleton is at 13.4 points per game. Sergio Hunt is adding 10.5 points and Vinnie Bennett is checking in at 7 points per outing.
Hudson’s Bay Eagles (2-9, 0-3)
“We have played really good quarters in games. Just need to put it all together and play good three, four quarters in league to be competitive,” Hudson’s Bay coach Theo Mikaele said.
Eli Hoover is leading the squad. He is averaging 18 points and nine rebounds a game.