TACOMA — It is an Olive Garden kind of night for the Camas Papermakers.
Their game in the Class 4A state high school girls basketball tournament was one to forget Thursday afternoon. Never in it, the Papermakers instead will have to focus on the consolation bracket on Friday.
To get in the right frame of mind, they want to stop and smell the bread sticks.
“We’re getting Olive Garden,” senior Courtney Clemmer said with a smile. “We’re just going to hang out and hopefully not talk about basketball. Relax, regroup, and get focused, and take it to Kentridge tomorrow.”
It was all Eastlake in Thursday’s quarterfinals at the Tacoma Dome. The Wolves never trailed, racing out to a 14-point lead in the first quarter and cruising to a 58-27 victory. Eastlake moved on to the championship semifinals.
Camas will face Kentridge in the consolation semifinals at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
“Our goal is to put our loss behind us and focus on tomorrow,” said Marianna Payne.
The Papermakers understand that this week in the dome means more than wins and losses.
“We have fun every night,” Payne said. “We all get in one room, play games, or girly facial masks. It’s about your teammates outside of the court.”
Still, it is more fun to win, and the Papermakers hope they can get that W on Friday. If they do so, they will assure themselves a trophy at the state tournament.
“It’s exciting,” Clemmer said of playing in the final week of the season for the second year in a row. “We’re making history. Last year was the first time to get here. This year, back-to-back. Being here again, OK, we’re used to it. … We just need to go out and play our game.”
Courtney Clemmer of Camas shows off her sportsmanship medal from Thursday’s game. Camas lost, but the Papermakers vowed to have fun Thursday night and prepare for the consolation bracket. pic.twitter.com/HKZnR8gT9Q
— Paul Valencia (@ValenciaCCT) March 2, 2018
That did not happen Thursday. But the Papermakers preferred giving credit to the Wolves rather than dwell on their mistakes.
“I don’t even know,” Clemmer said. “We went out and we realized they really wanted it in the first half. We came out stronger in the second half. Eastlake just took it to us.”
Gina Marxen and Keeli Burton each scored 13 points for the Wolves. Mae Bryant had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Payne had seven points and six rebounds for Camas. Clemmer finished with six points and five rebounds.
Camas did have some strong moments in the second half.
In one stretch, Haley Hanson scored on a jumper off a screen. Clemmer got a nice feed from Jillian Webb that she converted for a three-point play opportunity. She missed the free throw, but Payne got the offensive rebound and put-back, plus the foul. Payne converted that three-point play.
The next time down the court, Payne grabbed an offensive rebound as she was falling out of bounds. She threw the ball behind her back and Maggie Wells got to it to extend the Camas possession.
“I knew I had to do better,” Payne said. “I just wanted to help my team out better in the second half.”
The rest of Thursday was all about trying to put the game in the past. The focus for the Papermakers was on their friendship and hanging out together for at least one more night.