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May 31, 2023

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Beckett Currie’s hot shooting sparks Camas boys to second-half rally over West Valley

Papermakers rally from 11 points down to win 64-53 to reach the Tacoma Dome

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
3 Photos
Camas sophomore Beckett Currie reacts after a call Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, during the Papermakers’ 64-53 win against West Valley - Yakima at Battle Ground High School.
Camas sophomore Beckett Currie reacts after a call Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, during the Papermakers’ 64-53 win against West Valley - Yakima at Battle Ground High School. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

BATTLE GROUND — After last week’s blowout losses at the bi-district tournament, Beckett Currie now knows how good the Camas boys basketball team needs to be.

And thanks for some clutching shooting in the second half on Friday, the Papermakers will get at least one more game to make improvements.

Currie hit three of Camas’ five 3-pointers in the third quarter, helping the Papermakers rally from 11 points down to beat West Valley of Yakima 64-53 in the Class 4A opening round loser-out game at Battle Ground High School.

“We have so much energy when we use it,” Currie said. “And we’re so collectively on the same page as a unit, when everything’s clicking, all it takes is one (shot) for us. We’re that team where we can shock anybody because all it takes is one big shot and then a stop.”

In the first half against West Valley, things were not clicking for the Papermakers as Camas fell into a quick 7-0 deficit. Then Camas was down 13-5, 19-12, 25-16 and finally 33-22 at halftime.

16 Photos
Camas sophomore Jace VanVoorhis, right, celebrates after winning a turnover Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, during the Papermakers’ 64-53 win against West Valley - Yakima at Battle Ground High School.
Boys Basketball: Camas vs. West Valley – Yakima Photo Gallery

But Currie opened the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to jumpstart the Papermakers.

“It meant a lot,” Currie said. “It’s something I’ve done most of the year. I’ve been getting a lot more focus on me defensively once I had those really big games. So to get a couple of open ones felt really nice. Then you see the first one go in, it gives you momentum to hit the next one. And then you just carry that, keep making the right pass and everything starts clicking.”

Currie’s third 3-pointer of the third quarter got Camas within 39-37. Jace VanVoorhis and Ethan Harris hit 3-pointers at the end of the quarter to keep the Papermakers within 45-43.

Theo McMillan’s inside basket with 6:01 left gave Camas its first lead of the game at 49-47. Currie made a layup and Jamison Carlisle added back-to-back baskets to cap a 10-0 run that put Papermakers up 55-47. West Valley would get no closer than six points the rest of the way.

“Honestly, it’s even less about (shots) not falling and more about me staying aggressive,” said Currie, who finished with a team-high 18 points. “When I keep my foot on the gas, the whole team keeps their foot on the gas, and then we start clicking. And then our defense, we get a couple of stops, people get the outlet layup and things like that. … And we get those plays to kind of connect , and then we can play with anybody because our energy shoots up to a level where our intensity is so high that most teams can’t match it. Like tonight, that’s a great team. They couldn’t match our energy.”

McMillan and Carlisle both finished with 14 points for Camas (18-7), which advances to play Tahoma in the Round-of-12 on Wednesday at the Tacoma Dome. Carlisle left Friday’s game late with an ankle injury, potentially leaving the Papermakers without one of their senior leaders.

The youthful Papermakers know they need to play their very best in Tacoma after suffering a pair of lopsided losses to Curtis and Federal Way – two of the best 4A teams in the state — at the bi-district tournament last week.

“I’m a sophomore and that was my first time playing those top-dog Seattle teams,” Currie said. “And there was a lot of focus on me. I was getting some crazy coverages thrown at me. To see what that is, to me, coming into this offseason, I have an idea of how good we need to be. Right now, we have to focus on finishing the season out. But next year, I now have an image in my mind of what it means to be a top, top team.”


WEST VALLEY — Parker Hill 0, Tommy Melusky 11, Jonathan Wright 0, Brady Komstadius 3, Jackson May 2, Landen Birley 23, Brandt Kneisler 0, Parker Mills 12, Meech Sadeddin 2. Totals 21 (3) 8-9 53.

CAMAS — Beckett Currie 18, Konnor Limnell 0, Matthew Sitler 0, Matthew Chillian 0, Jace VanVoorhis 9, Theo McMillan 14, Josh Dabasinskas 4, Cade Washington 0, Jamison Carlisle 14, Ethan Harris 3, Channing Nesland 0. Totals 26 (7) 5-6 64.

West Valley 13 20           12           8—53

Camas   12           10           21           21—64