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News / Sports / Prep Sports

Union sinks Camas in tiebreaker for No. 1 seed to bi-district playoffs

Titans need just one win to reach regional, Papermakers need 3 wins

By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer
Published: February 9, 2022, 10:26pm

The encore goes to the Union Titans.

Less than 24 hours after a down-to-the wire finish that led to Camas and Union sharing the 4A Greater St. Helens League championship in boys basketball, it was Union that earned the No. 1 seed into the postseason with a 74-52 victory Wednesday in the teams’ tiebreaker game on a neutral floor.

For Union (16-4), the No. 1 seed means Saturday’s home playoff game against Graham-Kapowsin is a winner-to-regional game.

As the No. 2 seed, Camas (18-3) must win three straight loser-out bi-district contests, starting with Saturday’s home playoff game against South Kitsap (7-15) to earn a regional berth.

A celebratory net-cutting ceremony postgame at Heritage High School put an exclamation point on the Titans’ performance that had players still searching for the right words.

“It still really hasn’t hit me,” said junior post Yanni Fassillis, who had a game-high 23 points and recorded a double-double for the second straight night. “This was a huge bounce back for us.”

That can be said for the emotions of playing two games against the same opponent in less than 24 hours with so much at stake in both games. But that also can be said for just how the Titans got the victory Wednesday.

A 33-point third quarter scoring burst — including a 23-2 run the final 4:31 of the quarter — sparked the Titans for good in another electric atmosphere that echoed similarly to Tuesday’s standing-room only jam-packed crowd at Camas High School.

Camas led 31-29 at halftime using an 11-2 run of its own to close out the first half.

Union’s Bryson Metz opened the third quarter with a 3 for his first field goal of the game to put Union up 32-31, and never trailed again.

On Tuesday, Metz surpassed a personal milestone of 1,000 career points, and said he was ready to flip the script on a tough defeat made even tougher when his potential game-tying 3-pointer was off the mark as the final horn sounded Tuesday.

Despite having just 1 first-half point, he said his teammates provided a big lift to their senior leader. Fassillis’ words of confidence leaving the locker room stuck with Metz, he said.

Scoring quickly followed to start the second half. Metz had 15 of his team’s third-quarter points.

It felt like Union couldn’t miss from the field, because it rarely did the final 4:31 of the third as the lead grew from 39-36 to 62-38. Jamison Limbrick’s corner 3 at the third-quarter buzzer was an added bonus.

“That was definitely one of the coolest runs I’ve ever been a part of in four years of high school basketball,” Metz said. “It was unreal.”

Fassillis, Metz and Limbrick (10 points) all finished in double figures for Union. Carson Frawley led Camas with 21.

Both Camas and Union turn the page to the postseason Saturday. And for Metz, he also took time to reflect on the past 24 hours of electric energy.

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“It’s unbelievable and it shows us not to take high school basketball for granted, and to remember that this is all for fun,” he said. “It makes it so much fun because of the amazing fans. Not a lot of teams get to be in that atmosphere and we’re super thankful for that.”