High school basketball: Camas punches tickets (plural) to state tournaments

The Camas Papermakers are all smiles after clinching another trip to the Class 4A state girls basketball tournament. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Camas Papermakers are all smiles after clinching another trip to the Class 4A state girls basketball tournament. Photo by Mike Schultz

Camas boys join Camas girls with victories in winner-to-state playoff games

Paul Valencia
ClarkCountyToday.com

It was an incredible weekend for the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League.

Six teams reached the boys and girls bi-district tournaments and six teams won their opening games.

An even better weekend at Camas, though.

The Camas girls held off Bellarmine on Friday night in a winner-to-state game. The next night, the Camas boys pulled away from Bellarmine, also in a winner-to-state game. Yes, the Papermakers — all of them — are going to the state tournament.

Oh, and the Seton Catholic girls have already locked up a trip to the state regionals, as well.

At Camas, this the second time in school history that both programs reached the state tournament in the same year. They also did it in 2015. 

But there is a big difference. In 2015, the regional format was different. Both teams lost in regionals and did not advance to the Tacoma Dome.

This year, well, it’s going to depend on the seeding and then the result of the regional games.

The Camas girls are a lock to get a top eight seed and most likely will even get a top four seed. That’s important. Any regional team with a top-eight seed is assured of going to the Tacoma Dome. 

If the Camas boys win another game in the bi-district tournament — there are two more games for the Papermakers — it is possible that they, too, will earn a top-8 seed. If the boys are seeded 9th through 16, they will have to win that regional game to advance to the dome.

After this weekend, though, both Camas teams know it is possible for a Camas Connection in the Dome.

The two Camas squads clinched berths to state, while the other two girls and other two boys teams from the 4A GSHL won elimination games to remain alive for trips to state.

The 4A and 3A bi-district tournaments resume this week. So, too, do the Class 2A District 4 tournaments and the 1A District 4 tournaments.

Here is where everyone stands.

Class 4A girls:

Keirra Thompson and the Camas Papermakers got after it against Bellarmine on Friday, with Camas coming through with a 43-39 victory. Photo by Mike Schultz
Keirra Thompson and the Camas Papermakers got after it against Bellarmine on Friday, with Camas coming through with a 43-39 victory. Photo by Mike Schultz

Camas improved to 19-3 this season and still has not lost to a Washington school after its 43-39 victory over Bellarmine on Friday. For more on an incredible defensive performance, see this story: https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/sports/dominating-defense-kendall-mairs-crushes-it-for-camas-in-bi-district-victory/

Kierra Thompson scored 14 points to lead Camas, and Riley Sanz beat the shot-clock buzzer, swishing a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in the game to give the Papermakers a four-point lead.

Riley Sanz and the Camas Papermakers survived a defensive battle Friday night, beating Bellarmine. Sanz would hit the clinching basket, beating the shot-clock buzzer to swish a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left, giving Camas a four-point lead. Photo by Mike Schultz
Riley Sanz and the Camas Papermakers survived a defensive battle Friday night, beating Bellarmine. Sanz would hit the clinching basket, beating the shot-clock buzzer to swish a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left, giving Camas a four-point lead. Photo by Mike Schultz

This will be the sixth consecutive trip to state for the girls program. 

Camas advances to the semifinals of the bi-district tournament and will face Sumner at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Curtis High School in Tacoma. 

Meanwhile, the Union girls got clutch 3-pointers from Ava Smith and Hanna Summers in the closing minutes to help the Titans get past Rogers 72-66 in an elimination game. Brooklynn Haywood scored 34 points to lead Union.

The Titans play at Decatur at 7 p.m. Tuesday in another elimination game. The winner of Tuesday’s game will then have two games to win one to advance to state.

The Skyview Storm gave the 4A GSHL a 3-0 record in the opening round of the girls bi-district, topping South Kitsap 66-53. Skyview trailed by nine points at the half, then rolled in the second half. 

Skyview will be at Olympia at 7 p.m. Tuesday in another elimination game. The winner of that one will  then have two games to win one to advance to state.

Class 4A boys:

The Papermakers got double-digit scoring from all five starters and brought the home crowd to its feet with a state-clinching victory Saturday night.

Beckett Currie scored 23 points, leading a balanced attack for the Camas boys, as the Papermakers beat Bellarmine on Saturday to clinch a berth to the state tournament. Photo by Paul Valencia
Beckett Currie scored 23 points, leading a balanced attack for the Camas boys, as the Papermakers beat Bellarmine on Saturday to clinch a berth to the state tournament. Photo by Paul Valencia

Camas led by five at the break, took control early in the third quarter, and sustained a comfortable lead down the stretch for a 75-57 victory. Beckett Currie led a balanced attack with 23 points.

Camas will take on Curtis at 7:30 p.m Thursday in the bi-district semifinal at Curtis High School. Win or lose, Camas is going to state. However, Camas is looking to finish strong in the bi-district in an effort to claim a better seed to state.

A reminder: Seeds 1-8 are assured of going to the Tacoma Dome, with the top-four seeds getting a home-area game in regionals. Seeds 9-16 must win their regional games to make it to the dome. Seeds 9-12 get home-area games in regionals.

So even though Camas is going to state, there is still a lot to play for the rest of this week’s bi-district tournament.

At Union High School on Saturday night, the Titans rolled past Rogers 80-59 in an elimination game. 

Yanni Fassilis, the 4A GSHL player of the year, scored 31 points to lead the Titans. Union led by 13 at the half, extended its lead to 21 after three quarters and cruised to victory. Union will be at Kentridge at 6 p.m. Wednesday in another elimination game. The winner will then have two games to win one to advance to state.

Tait Spencer scored 25 points for Battle Ground as the Tigers went on the road to beat Puyallup 68-66, giving the 4A GSHL a sweep in the opening round. Battle Ground will be at Sumner at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in another elimination game. The winner will then have two games to win one to advance to state.

Class 3A

The two GSHL No. 1 seeds in boys and girls fell in the first round of their bi-district tournament. As top seeds, they are in the double-elimination part of the bracket, meaning they are still alive.

Gig Harbor got past Mountain View boys in overtime on Saturday night 70-67. In the girls bracket, North Thurston had no trouble against Evergreen in a 78-38 victory.

The Mountain View boys will host Capital at 7 p.m. Wednesday in an elimination game.

The Evergreen girls will host Central Kitsap on Tuesday in an elimination game. 

The Prairie boys lost to Silas in its first-round elimination game.

The Kelso boys won to stay alive.

The Prairie girls are still playing, thanks to a 50-37 victory over Timberline. The Falcons will play at Gig Harbor at 6 p.m. Tuesday in another elimination game. 

Class 2A

The Columbia River Rapids earned a 53-44 victory over Washougal in the opening round of the District 4 girls basketball tournament. Columbia River, the 2A GSHL champion, will face Tumwater in the semifinals Monday night at Black Hills High School. The winner will clinch a trip to state. The loser will get another chance to make it state with a game Wednesday night.

Ridgefield and Woodland lost their openers and will join Washougal in the consolation bracket. All three teams are involved in elimination games Monday night.

In the boys tournament, all of the Clark County-based squads lost in the opening round. Ridgefield, Woodland, and Columbia River are in the consolation bracket. All three play in elimination games Tuesday night.

Class 1A

The girls district tournament opened last Thursday and they were back on court Saturday for the semifinals.

Seton Catholic ruled the night with a 56-45 victory over Hoquiam, advancing to the finals and locking up a trip to state regionals. Anna Mooney, the Trico League player of the year, scored 21 points for the Cougars.

Seton Catholic will play Montesano for the district title at Castle Rock High School on Friday night.

Meanwhile, King’s Way Christian lost in the semifinals and will play White Salmon at Seton Catholic High School on Wednesday in an elimination game. 

La Center was eliminated in the consolation bracket over the weekend.

The King’s Way Christian boys advanced to the semifinals of the District 4 1A tournament with a 60-49 win over Tenino. The Knights will host Hoquiam at 6 p.m. Tuesday in a winner-to-state game.

La Center and Seton Catholic both lost in the opening round. They both have home games Tuesday, elimination contests. 

Class 1B Boys

Columbia Adventist has reached the final six in its tournament. Columbia Adventist plays at Taholah at 6 p.m. Monday.


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