TACOMA — Once the shots started falling, the basket felt as wide as the Pacific Ocean and soon after, the tide turned in the Camas Papermakers’ favor for good.
It’s not often a team shoots under 30 percent from the field and wins a basketball game, let alone a state tournament game inside the Tacoma Dome.
But Camas overcame a cold shooting performance to down Bellarmine Prep, 59-53, in the teams’ 4A girls first-round game Wednesday.
The win sends Camas (17-8) to Thursday’s state quarterfinal game against Sumner, a team they lost to in the 4A bi-district tournament two weeks ago. Tip off is 2 p.m. Thursday.
Freshman point guard Keirra Thompson was in middle school — a seventh grader — when Camas made the 4A state tournament in 2020, and lost its first-round game.
She soaked up all the winning vibes Wednesday.
“This is really amazing,” Thompson said. “I can’t wait for tomorrow (Thursday).”
Reagan Jamison had a double-double of 19 points and 17 rebounds, and Thompson added 15 points, and three assists.
Camas shot just 29.5 percent (18 of 62 shooting), including 9 of 32 from 3-point range. Yet the third quarter is when the offense — and the energy — came alive.
Clawing its way back from deficits has been Camas’ calling card as of late, and did so once again Wednesday. The Papermakers trailed for much of the first half and despite shooting 20 percent from the field the opening two quarters, only trailed 21-18 at halftime.
Soon after, though, is when the tide turned. The Papermakers hit five 3-pointers in the third — three by Jamison and one each from Thompson and Ava Smith — in what turned into the lead for good.
“We just trusted each other and played for each other — we knew things were going to fall,” Jamison said.
From there, the lead grew. Jamison hit two free throws at the 7:07 mark of the fourth quarter for Camas’ first double-digit lead at 44-34. It led by as many as 55-40.
For Jamison, she’s averaged 23.3 points per game the past three playoff games, and had 13 of her 19 points in the second half. Eleven of her 17 rebounds came on the defensive glass.
“It’s nowhere like I’ve ever played before,” Jamison said. “You dream of this since were little kids, and this is huge.”
Kendall Mairs added 14 rebounds to go with her six points. Parker Mairs also chipped in eight points.
It was the teams’ third go-around this season, and second in 10 days. Bellarmine topped Camas, 73-65, at bi-districts 10 days ago, and head coach Scott Thompson said postgame the emphasis in preparation started with defense: keeping Bellarmine Prep in the 40s for scoring.
The Papermakers nearly did, and Scott Thompson said the second-half energy spilled over into more than just scoring.
“I felt like the defense started to get sharper, the rebounding started to get better,” he said. “It just felt like a positive energy that came off those were even bigger than the shots themselves.”
CAMAS 59, BELLARMINE PREP 53
CAMAS — Reagan Jamison 19, Kendall Mairs 6, Parker Mairs 8, Anna Mooney 0, Sophie Buzzard 0, Riley Sanz 5, Ava Smith 5. Keirra Thompson 15. Totals 18 (9) 14-27 59.
BELLARMINE PREP — Kiara Stone 17, Keiara Curtis 4, Katie Christensen 0, Stella Wiggins 0, Abbie Crist 0, Gabriella Miller 0, Jada Travis 16, Keira Leingang 4, Taylor Teeple 12. Totals 16 (5) 16-25 53.
Camas 8 10 21 20 — 59
Bellarmine Prep 10 11 13 19 — 53