More notes: Plus items on Camas girls, Union boys, and league updates
Add Brooke Walling’s name to the list of 1,000-point scorers.
Walling, a junior from Prairie, hit the 1,000-point mark for her career during the Falcons’ win over Fort Vancouver last week. Walling is at least the fourth Clark County basketball player to hit the milestone this season. Taylor Mills and Taylor Stephens, both of La Center, and Washougal’s Beyonce Bea also got to that number.
“Brooke has embraced being the leader on the team and the go-to person when we need a basket,” Prairie coach Hala Corral said. “She has taken on the challenge and exceeding all expectations.”
Prairie also officially clinched the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League title. That was not exceeding expectations. That is the bare minimum expectation for this program. Instead, the Falcons are looking forward to the bi-district tournament in hopes of making it to state.
As of today, the Falcons are No. 10 in the RPI rankings. Plus, bi-district games will count for RPI rankings this season so it is possible Prairie can move into the top eight. It also is possible that should Prairie advance to the final 16, two teams ahead in the rankings could miss out at state, allowing for Prairie to move into the top eight that way.
The top eight Class 3A teams going to the regional round of state are guaranteed a trip to the Tacoma Dome.
Camas girls remember
The Camas Papermakers won their second consecutive Class 4A Greater St. Helens League championship on Friday, getting the season sweep over the Union Titans.
The two victories over Union were very different, though.
In the first matchup, the Papermakers scored the first 20 points of the game. By the end of the game, Camas had to sweat out a 3-point attempt by the Titans to pull off a two-point win.
“First game, definitely, oh we were up 20, we can back off a little bit,” Camas senior Courtney Clemmer said.
This time, though, Camas did not allow for a comeback, for any Union hope. Camas used a 17-0 run in the first half and took a 15-point halftime lead. Union never got the margin into single digits in the second half.
“We knew we had to keep on playing some hard defense and not let them have any open looks,” junior Haley Hanson said.
“The game, we went up and we had to stay on it,” Clemmer said.
Yes, at halftime, the Papermakers did talk about the first game with the Titans. There would be no repeat.
“We were not letting them in it,” Hanson said.
“It was not happening,” Clemmer added.
For the game story, click here:
Union’s Ethan Smith goes on wild run
Earlier in the week, the Union Titans earned a chance to win another league title, or at least a share of the league title, by handing Skyview its first loss of the season. For that story, click here:
Of course, for Union to remain in that position of winning a league title, the Titans had to keep winning.
On Friday, Camas gave the Titans quite a scare, leading late into the third quarter.
Then Ethan Smith put on the shooting display of the season.
Smith hit a 3-pointer at the third-quarter horn, giving Union a one-point lead. Smith was just getting started, though.
He then scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter, extending the Union lead to nine points. So that 11-0 Union run was an 11-0 Ethan Smith run.
Camas scored the next basket, ending the 11-0 overall streak, but the team streak was not done. Smith nailed another 3-pointer, giving him 14 consecutive Union points.
That run ended on Union’s next possession. Tyler Combs had the ball, dribbling down the middle of the court. Smith headed for the 3-point line, and two Camas defenders shaded over toward Smith. Why not, right? The guy had scored 14 in a row.
Of course, that allowed for Combs to go right down the middle for an easy layup.
As far as this week, Union has games against Heritage and Battle Ground. Skyview has a game against Heritage. If Union and Skyview win out, they will both finish league play at 7-1 and will be co-champions. They would play each other Friday for seeding purposes for the upcoming bi-district tournament.
Also in the 4A GSHL, Camas takes on Battle Ground on Monday night. If Battle Ground wins, the Tigers will be the third and final team to reach bi-district. If Camas wins, those two teams could be in a playoff for third place later in the week.
Updates from the other leagues
The Prairie boys basketball team has two games left in the 3A GSHL regular season, including a matchup Friday with Kelso. Prairie has one loss and Kelso is undefeated in league play. Looks like Prairie will be the place to be Friday night.
In the boys 2A GSHL, Columbia River and Mark Morris have now split their season matchups. Each team has one loss. The Chieftains have two games remaining this week. Mark Morris has two this week and wraps up the regular season next week.
In the boys Trico, the La Center Wildcats are the league champions. According to the school, that is the first outright league title for the program since 2002.
In the girls 2A GSHL, the Washougal Panthers can clinch the league title tonight with a win at second-place Mark Morris. Should Washougal stumble, the Panthers would still have a one-game lead with two to play.
The girls Trico has been all La Center all season. As expected. The Wildcats have not had a close game in league play.