Union boys, Prairie girls highlight final night of 4A/3A regular season

Camas and Union girls share 4A GSHL basketball title

The Union Titans are still perfect.

The Prairie Falcons are still legends.

They highlighted a big final night of the regular season in Class 4A and 3A Greater St. Helens League boys and girls basketball.

Houston Combs (5) celebrates with Alishawuan Taylor (22) and teammates Wednesday as the Union Titans completed a perfect regular season with a 72-55 win over Skyview. Photo by Mike Schultz
Houston Combs (5) celebrates with Alishawuan Taylor (22) and teammates Wednesday as the Union Titans completed a perfect regular season with a 72-55 win over Skyview. Photo by Mike Schultz

The Union boys completed a 20-0 season, a first for the program, with a dominating performance over Skyview. Union will head to the bi-district tournament as the top seed from the 4A GSHL.

“Our team is full of guys who are hungry,” said junior Brad Lackey, who scored 16 points in a 72-55 decision over the Storm. “A lot of people told us we would be second in our league and it would be a down year. This is better than I imagined. But it’s only a step in our journey. I’m looking forward to making some noise in the playoffs.”

Brad Lackey scored 16 points to help Union take down Skyview for the outright Class 4A Greater St. Helens League boys basketball title. Photo by Mike Schultz
Brad Lackey scored 16 points to help Union take down Skyview for the outright Class 4A Greater St. Helens League boys basketball title. Photo by Mike Schultz

The Prairie girls, meanwhile, put the finishing touches on their 22nd consecutive league title, taking down second-place Hudson’s Bay. The Falcons are the No. 1 seed from the 3A GSHL

“It’s awesome to just carry on the tradition,” senior Brooke Walling said of the streak. “We can’t be the ones to break it.”

The Prairie Falcons flash 2-and-2 in honor of their 22nd consecutive league title. Photo by Paul Valencia.
The Prairie Falcons flash 2-and-2 in honor of their 22nd consecutive league title. Photo by Paul Valencia.

In the 4A GSHL girls race, Union and Camas both won Wednesday, completing their league seasons at 7-1. They are co-champions and will play a tiebreaker for the top seed later this week.

In 3A boys, Kelso edged Mountain View to win the outright title. Prairie finished in second, a game back.

Back to the 4A GSHL boys, Battle Ground rallied in the second half to force overtime, then topped Camas to finish third, securing the final playoff berth.

Over at Union, the Skyview boys were hoping to hand the Titans their first loss of the season and share the league title.

Instead, the Titans dominated the second half.

Tanner Toolson, scoreless in the first half, scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the third quarter.

“I got hot and my teammates found me,” Toolson said. “We all play for each other. That’s why we are so good. Not a lot of teams play like this. That’s why we’re 20-0.”

Tanner Toolson caught fire in the third quarter Wednesday, scoring 15 of his team-high 17 points to help Union complete a 20-0 regular season. Photo by Mike Schultz
Tanner Toolson caught fire in the third quarter Wednesday, scoring 15 of his team-high 17 points to help Union complete a 20-0 regular season. Photo by Mike Schultz

There’s that record again, 20-0.

“It’s … it’s … it’s crazy,” Toolson said. “This is a special team.”

Union increased its halftime lead from six all the way to 19 at one point in the third quarter. Unlike the first matchup between these teams, Skyview did not rally in the fourth to make it close. At no time in the final eight minutes did Skyview cut the deficit to single digits.

Lackey, who was in foul trouble for most of the first matchup with the Storm, buried a 3-pointer in the final two minutes of the game, an exclamation point of sorts.

“As soon as it left my hand I knew it was going in,” he said. “It felt great, right in front of our student section. That felt really cool.”
Four Titans made at least five field goals in this balanced attack. Houston Combs made three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points. Ethan Smith added 12 points.

Union fans chanted “MVP! MVP!” when Ethan Smith cut down the net to celebrate the league title. Photo by Mike Schultz
Union fans chanted “MVP! MVP!” when Ethan Smith cut down the net to celebrate the league title. Photo by Mike Schultz

Alex Schumacher led Skyview with 19 points. Kyle Gruhler had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Storm.

Skyview senior Alex Schumacher finished with a game-high 19 points. Skyview finished second in the 4A Greater St. Helens League. Photo by Mike Schultz
Skyview senior Alex Schumacher finished with a game-high 19 points. Skyview finished second in the 4A Greater St. Helens League. Photo by Mike Schultz

At Prairie, the Falcons wanted to leave no doubt against Hudson’s Bay this time. In the first matchup earlier this month, the Eagles were within a point of the Falcons at the half.

In this one, Prairie led by 12 at the half, then cruised in the second half for an 83-42 victory.

“We’re carrying on the legacy of the other teams,” senior Mallory Williams said.

The last time Prairie did not win a league title? 1997.

“All of us think it’s really special to be part of something that has been going on for so long,” senior Cassidy Gardner said.

Allison Corral scored 20 points and Walling had 19 to lead the Falcons. Prairie made 15 3-pointers.

The three seniors on the team — Gardner, Walling, and Williams — all answered at the same time when asked what the goal was for the rest of this season: “State championship.”

Williams added a little touch to that quote.

“Ring season.”

Yes, ring season, er, postseason is upon us in the 4A and 3A ranks. The bi-district tournaments begin next week.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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