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Camas boys thrive in loser-out 4A bi-district game, defeating Rogers-Puyallup 77-55

Camas junior Beckett Currie breaks program's career scoring record previously held by Gary Ostenson

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: February 14, 2024, 10:20pm

CAMAS — On a night the Camas Papermakers celebrated one of their own breaking a program scoring record, perhaps the greater accomplishment was how well they played as a team.

In a loser-out home game of the Class 4A bi-district boys basketball playoffs, Camas kept its season alive with a 77-55 win over Rogers-Puyallup and advanced to Friday’s winner-to-state game against 4A Greater St. Helens League foe Skyview.

The Papermakers’ performance Wednesday was thorough on both ends of the court, particularly during a first half in which they built a 42-16 lead against the Rams. They created open outside shots for Beckett Currie, who hit four of his six 3-pointers in the half, while the likes of Jace VanVoorhis (22 points), Ethan Harris (12 points) and Matthew Sitler (eight points) hunted high-percentage scoring chances.

“Loser-out games show what you are as a team,” Currie said. “We understand what our potential is as a group. We’re a top-three team in the state when we play the way we need to play. … Loser-out games are usually the quickest way to find out you’re gonna have chance at (reaching) that potential.”

On defense, Camas (15-9) held Rogers-Puyallup (12-14) to just six field goals in the first half. The Papermakers’ length on the inside with Harris, Sitler, Channing Nesland and company routinely altered the Rams’ shots and cleaned up on the boards.

“That’s just something that we do in practice — me, Matt and Channing — our thought is, we’ve gotta block that shot,” said Harris, a 6-foot-8 sophomore. “We go into stuff like this, and we have somebody who’s not particularly a shooter on us, then we’re getting our behinds in the paint and we’re gonna try to block the shot.”

Currie led Camas with 24 points and learned after the game that he broke the program’s career scoring record in his third season with the Papermakers. Gary Ostenson held the previous record of  1,233 points during his high school career from 1962-65.

It was the latest milestone for Currie, who already owned Camas’ single-season scoring record (575 points) and shares the single-game record of 44 points with Carson Frawley. This latest one was a goal of Currie’s since he was in sixth grade, he said.

“If people saw the amount of time that went into it, tens of thousands of hours to the game, and the scoring is just an aspect,” Currie said. “I got to thank teammates who got me so many open looks, getting me the ball in transition, the open kick-out 3’s to make it happen.

“It’s really big because I care so much about the community. To be able to have my name there, talk to kids after I graduate and come back and have that to carry the legacy along is pretty cool.”

The Papermakers’ path to the 4A state tournament became grew longer after they lost a winner-to-state game Saturday to Olympia. But, they felt their response in Wednesday’s loser-out game was a good sign. They’ve become accustomed to playing in a lot of those games over the last three seasons, including last year’s team that placed sixth at state.

“I think there’s room for improvement, but this was such a big win for us morally and on the scoreboard,” Harris said.

The winner of Friday’s Camas-Skyview game clinches a state berth, and the losing side will get one final chance in a game Saturday against either Curtis or Puyallup.

CAMAS 77, ROGERS-PUYALLUP 55

ROGERS-PUYALLUP — Raylen Rigney 2, Josh Steiger 0, Jevel Carter 0, Ryan Avary 3, Dylan Gilderhus 6, Treyshawn Weatherspoon 19, Kyree Grays 4, Amanna Anusiem 10, Eddie Ntambwe 6, Jalan Lillie 5, Bryant Medford 0. Totals 22 (4) 7-11 55.

CAMAS — Beckett Currie 24, Cade Washington 2, Mason Lai 0, Matthew Sitler 8, Nyima Namru 3, Jace VanVoorhis 22, Channing Nesland 2, Sam Perry 0, Carter Morgan 0, Legyal Dhongthog 2, Ethan Harris 12. Totals 32 (8) 5-5 77.

Rogers 10 6 17 22—55

Camas 21 21 15 20—77

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