Papermakers rule the second half to defeat defending state champion Woodinville 59-46
They were tired of the 2 next to their name.
All year long, the Camas Papermakers have felt they were the best Class 4A girls basketball team in Washington.
The rankings said otherwise.
The seeding for the state tournament said otherwise.
Well, in a quirk of the format for the state tournament, it just so happened that the No. 2 Camas Papermakers faced the No. 1 team in the state quarterfinals Thursday night in the Tacoma Dome.
It turns out, the 2-seed is moving on, making school history.
The 1-seed? No longer in the running for a state championship.
Camas pulled away in the second half for a 59-46 victory over Woodinville, advancing to the semifinals for the first time.
“This is crazy. It’s never been done before,” Camas sophomore Keirra Thompson said. “We are just so hyped. We did it together as a team. We came out with the right mindset. We didn’t care who got credit. We were just in it together.”
Oh, but there is not a lot of time to celebrate. The semifinals are 9 p.m. Friday in the dome.
Sure sounds good for the Papermakers, though, right? Camas in the semifinals.
“That’s not the goal, though,” said Scott Thompson, the head coach.
Don’t get him wrong. He was thrilled with Thursday’s victory.
“We’ve wanted this game for so long. They were ranked No. 1 all year,” the coach said. “We’ve known for a long time we were on a collision course with that team. It feels like this whole season has been building up to that moment, where we finally got to play them, where we finally got to meet them. I don’t know if we figured out what it takes to win a state championship yet, but we were ready for this one … for sure.”
“It definitely felt good to beat them,” added Camas junior Riley Sanz.
When the seedings came out prior to state regionals, this looked like a potential championship matchup. Instead, Woodinville lost in the regional seeding game, sending the Falcons into the Round-of-12 and into a different bracket for the Tacoma Dome.
That bracket put them on a course to take on Camas.
Camas was up to the challenge.
Next will be another test for the Papermakers, who must fight off overconfidence going into the semifinals. Camas takes on Tahoma, a team Camas beat twice — by 20 and 29 points — earlier this season.
To get to the final four, Camas had to prove something to Woodinville, the defending state champion.
Sanz and Thompson hit back to back 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter to give Camas a 12-point lead. Thompson would hit another 3-ball with 4:40 to play, and Woodinville never got within single digits again.
The game was tied at halftime. Woodinville managed a small lead early in the third quarter.
Camas, though, got all defensive.
Showing a full-court press for the first time, Parker Mairs got a steal, and on the ensuing possession, the ball found its way back to Mairs who swished a 3-pointer for a 31-29 Camas lead.
Woodinville would tie the game one more time at 33, but Camas never trailed again.
“We knew we had to give it our all, and we just needed to get a big punch,” Mairs said. “We were ready, took charge, and got that ball back.”
Burying the 3-pointer a few seconds later just made it even sweeter for her.
“I just happened to be open. My teammates found me, and I finished,” Parker Mairs said.
Reagan Jamison, playing in just her second game after being sidelined by a hip injury for two months, led Camas with 13 points off the bench. Sanz added 11 points. Addison Harris had nine points and 15 rebounds. Thompson had nine points and five assists. Parker Mairs had four assists and four steals.
“We played our hardest,” Sanz said. “We knew if we played our heart out, it would end up good for us.”
- Columbia River names DeWayne Patterson as head football coachDeWayne Patterson, a former Washington State University football player, is the new head coach at Columbia River High School.
- Daven Harmeling resigns as King’s Way Christian coachDaven Harmeling is walking away from coaching after leading the King’s Way Christian Knights to Yakima in each of the past eight Class 1A state tournaments.
- A family decision: Blake Conley resigns as Union’s boys basketball coachBlake Conley, who has been the head coach for the Union boys basketball team for the past 10 years and went to state in each of the past eight tournaments, has resigned to spend more time with his family.
- Clark County Today Sports Podcast, Episode 5: What it means to eliminate athletic director positionsThe sports enthusiasts discuss the proposed elimination of athletic director positions, as we know them, in Evergreen Public Schools, plus a shout-out to Camas girls basketball team, and more discussion on state tournament formats.
- Athletic directors from Evergreen Public Schools ‘blindsided’ and ‘shocked’The high school athletic directors from Evergreen, Heritage, Mountain View, and Union were told Monday that the district is recommending that their jobs be cut after this academic year.