CAMAS — Camas senior guard Sydney Allen drew the tough assignment Friday night.
That’s nothing new. She always draws the tough assignment.
There is a reason for that. She’s really, really good at shutting down opponents.
Allen’s suffocating defense, along with her 10 points on offense, led Camas to a 49-35 victory over Mountain View in a key Class 3A Greater St. Helens League girls basketball game at Camas High School.
The Papermakers improved to 5-1 in league play, alone in second place halfway through the GSHL campaign. The Thunder fell to 3-3.
Allen denied, pressured, and was pretty much a 32-minute pain in the neck for Carly Holboke, Mountain View’s high scoring guard. Holboke, who came into the contest averaging better than 25 points per game, was held to a season-low 11.
“The game plan was when she had the ball, we were in our ...,” Allen tried to explain of the defense.
But Camas coach Chuck Knight overheard her, interrupted, and jokingly told Allen not to give away the strategy.
No problem, coach. All those fans who were in the gym — and there were a lot because it was Camas’ annual Hoops for Pink cancer awareness night — saw what was going on from the beginning of the game until the end. Allen just shadowed Holboke all night.
“I just knew I could pressure her because if she got around me, there’d be a lot of help,” Allen said.
“When making the game plan, it’s easy,” Knight said. “We ask, ‘Who is their best player?’ Sydney Allen guards her. That’s an unbelievable luxury for a coach. She has guarded everyone from point guards to posts. If there is a better defensive player in the league, I don’t know who it is.”
Allen had six steals and was the quarterback on an overall team defensive effort that saw Mountain View go more than 12 minutes between field goals in one stretch.
Holboke scored with two minutes left in the first quarter to bring Mountain View within three at 11-8, but the Thunder could only manage four free throws the rest of the first half. Raina Shadle’s 3-pointer with 5:30 left in the third quarter ended the Thunder drought from the floor. But before that shot, Camas’ lead had grown to 20.
Camas post Jenka Stiasna had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. She scored her team’s first eight points of the second half.
“Coach said, ‘We are going to go to you right now,’ ” Stiasna said. “I tried, and I go.”
The Camas offense was clicking in the first half, as well, as six players recorded at least one assist in the first two quarters.
The team shot 52 percent in the half to take a 16-point lead.
Tatum Schroeder ended up leading the team with four assists.
“If it’s there, you gotta get it to your teammates,” Schroeder said. “We’re a team. We don’t focus on individual points. Assists are just as important.”
Mountain View did make a little run late. Emma DuChesne buried a 3-pointer to end the third quarter, making it a 20-point game.
Then DuChesne, Holboke, and Bailey Gaspar scored the first 10 points of the quarter to make it 41-31.
The Thunder got the ball back with a chance to get the deficit to single digits. Allen got a steal, and on the ensuing possession, knocked down a shot with just less than five minutes to play, igniting an 8-0 run for Camas.
DuChesne made three 3-pointers for Mountain View and finished with a game-high 12 points.
Kendra Preuninger and Lauren Neff each scored eight points for the balanced Papermakers. Sierra Brown had six points and seven rebounds.