Prairie finds its stride to sink Camas

Falcons 4-0 in 3A GSHL girls standings

By Greg Jayne, Columbian opinion editor

Published:

 

CAMAS — In a matchup of teams with perfect league records Saturday, Prairie proved an immutable truth: When it comes to girls basketball in the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League, the Falcons’ toughest competition is against themselves.

“We’re very happy,” senior Heather Corral said after a 65-35 win at Camas. “Our goal is to find something to focus on every game and try to improve. We were really trying to focus on post defense tonight.”

The Falcons moved to 4-0 in league play and showed that there is plenty of distance between them and the rest of the 3A GSHL. Facing a team that had wins its first four league contests, Prairie built a 25-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Not that it was easy.

The Falcons trailed 1-0 after nearly four minutes. But a rebound basket by Kelsey Asplund got Prairie on the scoreboard, and a three-point play and 3-point shot by Corral fueled a 10-0 run over a span of 52 seconds.

In the second quarter, the Falcons extended the lead to 34-5 before scaling back their pressure defense. By the end of the half, it was 38-11 and Corral had 12 points, three rebounds, seven assists, and five steals.

She finished with 18 points, while Cori Woodward had 13 and Jackie Lanz added 12.

“She’s making steady progress and getting back into the flow of it,” coach Al Aldridge said of Corral, a 6-foot-1 senior point guard. “It hasn’t been easy for her.”

Corral, who has signed with the University of Washington, missed the end of last season with a torn knee ligament. She didn’t play in the state tournament as the Falcons reached the title game.

Camas steadied itself in the second half, outscoring Prairie 14-12 in the third quarter after finishing the first half with two field goals and 17 turnovers.

“I thought we competed better in the second half,” coach Chuck Knight said. “Of course, they didn’t press, and we hadn’t handled that well.

“Last year, when we played them the first time and took it on the chin, that had a lingering effect on us. I don’t think that will happen with this group.”

Still, there were lessons to be learned for Prairie, the state’s top-ranked 3A team according to The Seattle Times.

“I was really pleased with our defensive intensity for the most part,” Aldridge said. “But we were kind of addressing the letdown and the importance of not letting that happen, of playing 32 minutes instead of 26.”

PRAIRIE 65, CAMAS 35

PRAIRIE — Lindsay Asplund 0, Cori Woodward 13, Heather Corral 18, Kelsey Asplund 4, Nicole Goecke 2, Emily Peters 0, Megan Lindsley 10, Andrea Smith 6, Jackie Lanz 12. Totals 26 (5) 8-10 65.

CAMAS — Paige Jackson 0, Sierra Brown 4, Sydney Allen 8, Kathryn Johnson 0, Brenna Khaw 1, Lauren Neff 8, Kendra Preuninger 0, Tatum Schroeder 0, Jenka Stiasna 14. Totals 14 (0) 7-11 35.

Prairie 25 13 12 15—65

Camas 5 6 14 10—35