Prairie girls take flight after halftime

Camas defense plays strong first half before Falcons seize control

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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When the Prairie Falcons get it going, they really get it going their way.

Sure, it took a half for the Falcons to find their game, but often, that is all they need.

Cori Woodward scored 21 points and led five Prairie players in double figures as the state’s top-ranked team erased a halftime deficit to beat Camas 66-45 Friday night in a Class 3A Greater St. Helens League girls basketball game.

The Falcons (17-1, 10-0 GSHL) clinched at least a share of their 15th consecutive league title and notched Al Aldridge’s 699th career win.

They had to work for this one, though. Sierra Brown scored 17 second-quarter points, giving Camas a 26-24 lead at the half.

Then it was all Prairie, led by Woodward and Jackie Lanz.

“They might be able to run with us in the first half, but in the second half, we were going to get it together,” Woodward said.

She scored 10 of her game-high 21 in the third period.

Lanz, who was sick earlier in the week and missed a practice, did not start. She finished that third quarter on a roll, scoring all 10 of her points, helping Prairie to a 10-point advantage.

“We had a big ball of fire in our stomachs, and we just wanted it to be released,” Lanz said.

All the Falcons got involved, too.

Camas had the ball trailing by eight with less than 3 minutes and 30 seconds to play in the game. But 20 seconds later, it was a 14-point contest. Lanz got a steal, then an assist to Megan Lindsley for a layup. Kelsey Asplund got the next steal and assist to Lindsley. And seconds later, Heather Corral picked off a pass, got the assist to, yep, Lindsley again.

Game over.

Prairie struggled against Camas’ defense in the first half, recording four assists on its 10 field goals.

“They know how to play us defensively,” Lanz said, crediting the Papermakers for that effort.

The Falcons responded with 13 assists on their 15 second-half baskets.

“We started getting rhythm shots,” Woodward said. “We made the extra passes to get in rhythm.”

Tied at 31 in the third period, Woodward and Lanz combined for three consecutive 3-pointers for a nine-point lead.

Later in the period, Andrea Smith grabbed an offensive rebound and found Woodward for another 3-pointer and an 11-point advantage. Woodward finished 8 of 11 from the floor, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.

Corral, playing in her first game since injuring an ankle Jan. 11, had 12 points, six assists, and three steals. Asplund and Lindsley each had 11 points. Lanz added four assists and three steals to her line.

Brown gave the Papermakers hope for victory with her second quarter. She made 6 of 7 shots from the field. She grabbed the rebound on that lone miss, was fouled, and made the free throws.

She finished with 19 points, the only Papermaker in double figures. Jenka Stiasna had six points and 12 rebounds.

Sydney Allen added five points and five assists for Camas.

Woodward and Lanz said they hope to see Camas again in the district tournament.

If the two teams do meet up in the finals, Aldridge said he is certain his players will be focused for more than a half. He was frustrated with practice this week, and he said the Falcons played like they practiced — not well.

“I’m grateful for the win,” Aldridge said. “Maybe they’ll be a little more focused in practice now.”

PRAIRIE 66, CAMAS 45

CAMAS — Paige Jackson 0, Sydney Allen 5, Sierra Brown 19, McKenna Jackson 0, Kathryn Johnson 0, Brenna Khaw 2, Lauren Neff 6, Kendra Preuninger 2, Tatum Schroeder 5, Jenka Stiasna 6. Totals 18-44 (0-10) 9-16 45.

PRAIRIE — Lindsay Asplund 0, Cori Woodward 21, Heather Corral 12, Kelsey Asplund 11, Nicole Goecke 0, Emily Peters 0, Megan Lindsley 11, Andrea Smith 1, Jackie Lanz 10. Totals 24-52 (8-23) 10-18 66.

Camas 7 19 9 10—45

Prairie 10 14 21 21—66