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Camas girls basketball dominates Union, hands Titans first loss of season

Papermakers use 15-0 run on their way to 65-43 4A Greater St. Helens League victory

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: January 2, 2024, 8:38pm

A productive opening month of the 2023-24 season suggested Union and Camas could be in for a close game when the two teams renewed their 4A Greater St. Helens League rivalry.

Yet within minutes of Tuesday’s game tipping off, the Papermakers girls basketball team proved yet again why they’re a true juggernaut and likely the team to beat in Class 4A statewide.

Feeding off of the home crowd in a rivalry game, the Titans jumped out to an 8-5 lead to open the first quarter, but the moment was fleeting.

Camas came back on a 15-0 run, held Union scoreless for more than five minutes and never looked back in a 65-43 win.

15 Photos
Camas head girls basketball coach Scott Thompson, left, directs the team Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, during the Papermakers’ 65-43 win against Union at Union High School.
Girls Basketball: Camas at Union Photo Gallery

“We just went out there as a team, we were all super happy, we started the game with excitement, with smiles,” junior Sophie Buzzard said. “So I think that really fed into us, like, if someone made a shot, we’d all celebrate. I think we just fed off of each other.”

The Titans (11-1) suffered their first loss of the season, their best start in program history. Meanwhile, the Papermakers (9-6) looked the part of a team that gained valuable experience from a grueling last week of December at the POA Holiday Classic in Portland against three nationally ranked teams from California (Mater Dei, Archbishop Mitty and Etiwanda).

“I mean, we just came from playing the number one team in the country, the number five team in the country, so I think we were ready to just pack a punch from the beginning,” junior Keirra Thompson said. “We know what it takes to win. We know all the small things to do. I think we just brought it today.”

Addison Harris led the Papermakers with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Thompson and Reagan Jamison added 13 points apiece.

But perhaps the biggest winner of the game was the Camas defense on the perimeter, led by the likes of Buzzard, Parker Mairs, Riley Sanz and Thompson, who made life tough on Union’s starring guard trio of Brooklynn Haywood, Ava Smith and Rowyn Riley.

Camas outscored Union 16-7 in the second quarter to build a 20-point lead at halftime, then followed it up by limiting the Titans to just nine points in the third.

“That’s where we’ve seen the most growth this year,” Camas coach Scott Thompson said. “Maybe that’s because of the schedule and maybe that’s because of some of the things we’ve done, but individually our girls are better defenders than they were last year at this time. … I expect that to continue to grow, and I just love seeing it.”

Haywood, a sophomore, led Union with 19 points while seniors Riley and Smith added 10 and nine points, respectively.

Camas has now won seven straight over Union dating back to the 2019-20 season. The two teams will meet again on Feb. 2 in Camas in the second to last game of the regular season.

“To play in this rivalry game, just the crowd, the atmosphere, it brings 10 times the amount of excitement as some other games,” Keirra Thompson said.



CAMAS — Reagan Jamison 13, Kendall Mairs 4, Riley Sanz 6, Sophie Buzzard 6, Parker Mairs 6, Baylie Farra 0, Brianna Forbess 0, Addison Harris 17, Keirra Thompson 13. Totals 27-63 (7-30) 4-8 65.

UNION — Carli Christensen 3, Brooklynn Haywood 19, Rowyn Riley 10, Leah Samuel 0, Taylor McCullough 0, Addison Eisfeldt 0, Zoey Robards 2, Ava Smith 9. Totals 13-38 (6-25) 11-12 43.

Camas 21 16 12 16—65

Union 10 7 9 17—43