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Camas boys hold off late Skyview rally to win 4A Greater St. Helens League tiebreaker 40-38

Papermakers claim No. 1 seed to bi-district playoffs; Storm are No. 2

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: February 7, 2024, 9:23pm

Ethan Harris had a feeling. Beckett Currie found out after being rousted by a Facetime call.

The end result was the same. The Camas boys basketball team’s hopes of a league championship were alive after Union beat Skyview on Tuesday night.

In a 4A Greater St. Helens League tiebreaker on Wednesday, the Papermakers did not let the opportunity go to waste.

Ethan Harris hit a pair of big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter Camas held off a late Skyview charge to beat the Storm 40-38 at Prairie High School.

With the win, Camas (13-8) claims the No. 1 seed to the bi-district tournament. The Papermakers will host Olympia on Saturday in a winner-to-state game.

After falling to Battle Ground on Monday, the Papermakers needed Union to beat Skyview on Tuesday to force a tiebreaker for first place with the Storm.

“I mean, to be honest, I kind of had a hope that Union was going to win,” Harris said. “I know that they played Battle Ground, and they like kick their behinds. Then they played us and almost won. And I was talking to some of (Union’s) parents, and that was the best basketball they had played, so I had a little bit of hope.”

Currie, on the other hand, went to bed thinking Camas would like finish second in the league. But then we got a Facetime call from some of his teammates who attended the Union-Skyview game.

“They were just screaming ‘They’re up! They’re up! They’re up!’ ” Currie said. “I go to bed early, so I’m like confused. What are you guys talking about?”

Eventually, most of the team got on the same Facetime call following the action.

“We’re screaming ‘We got a chance! We got a chance!’ Currie said.

The Papermakers made the best of their chance early on Wednesday, jumping out to a 28-18 lead in the third quarter.

After Skyview cut the deficit to three, Jace VanVoorhis put Camas up 31-25 by hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of third quarter.

Then Harris hit a couple of big 3-pointers to keep Skyview at arm’s length.

The sophomore, who missed several games to injury last month, is still working his way back, so he said he really didn’t think much about shooting for the first three quarters of the game.

But then he looked over to his father, who often sends messages through hand signals.

“I looked up to him in the crowd and he said ‘You need to take two shots,'” Harris said, doing all the hand motions. “So that was kind of my mentality going into those last couple of minutes.”

Currie said having Harris back in the lineup makes Camas a much more dangerous team.

“E’s versatility, we need those,” Currie said. “If you take those 3s out of the game, like if you take his ability to shoot out of the game, we’re a completely different team.”

Harris’ second 3-pointer of the quarter gave Camas a 39-33 lead.

But in the final three minutes, Skyview chipped away at the Papermakers’ tenuous lead, finally getting within 39-38 on Malakai Weimer’s drive in the lane with 7.2 seconds to play.

Skyview then fouled Harris, who made his first three throw, but missed his second. The Storm pulled down the rebound and called timeout with four seconds left.

Skyview worked the ball upcourt to Collins, whose 25-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the back iron.

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Now coming off back-to-back losses, Skyview (12-9) needs to regroup quickly. As the No. 2 seed from the 4A GSHL, the Storm will host Bellarmine of Tacoma on Saturday in a loser-out game.

The Papermakers have a shot to secure a state-tournament berth on Saturday, a goal the team set out at the start of the season.

And Currie said that goal was not based on what Camas did last year, when the Papermakers placed sixth at state. Rather it was based on the potential the team had with the players they had on the squad when they started this season.

“That hasn’t gone anywhere,” Currie said. “We still have the same pieces. Nobody’s quit the team. Nobody’s gotten hurt. We’re still the same group. We still have the same energy. We still have the same potential.

“So people really buying on that, understanding that every game before this is a learning experience. And now we have one chance with the group of guys we have to go as far as we can. So we just have to give 100 in practice and see how long we can ride this train.”

CAMAS 40, SKYVIEW 38

SKYVIEW — Javen Fletch 4, Gavin Packer 3, Gavin Perdue 0, Malakai Weimer 12, Demaree Collins 13, Jackson Filler 6. Totals 13 (2) 10-17 38.

CAMAS — Beckett Currie 17, Cade Washington 0, Matthew Sitler 2, Nyima Namru 2, Jace VanVoorhis 8, Ethan Harris 11. Totals 15 (3) 7-10 40.

Skyview 12 4 9 13—38

Camas 11 12 8 9—40

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