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Stellar guard tandem leads Camas to comeback win, 69-66, over Skyview

Beckett Currie’s game-winner, Jace VanVoorhis' clutch play paces Papermakers in 4A GSHL win

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: January 23, 2024, 11:49pm

CAMAS — The two understand each other so well, sometimes a simple look and nod is all Beckett Currie and Jace VanVoorhis need to get on the same page.

While playing on the Camas boys basketball team for the last three seasons, the junior guards have built an unwavering trust they can count on in any situation. Down the stretch of a crucial 4A Greater St. Helens League game Tuesday against Skyview, the tandem found a perfect balance.

VanVoorhis scored nine points in the fourth quarter to bring the Papermakers back from a six-point deficit, helping set up the final sequence in a tie game.

After Skyview’s Demaree Collins scored the game-tying basket with 28 seconds left, Currie wound down the clock intent on taking the final shot. He made his move with five seconds left, side-stepping a Skyview defender before draining a fadeaway, game-winning 3-pointer.

25 Photos
Camas junior Jace VanVoorhis, left, and Skyview sophomore Malakai Weimer dive for a ball Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, during the Papermakers’ 69-66 win against Skyview at Camas High School.
Boys Basketball: Skyview at Camas Photo Gallery

The Papermakers grabbed a 69-66 win to move into sole possession of first place in the 4A GSHL standings. Fittingly, Currie and VanVoorhis each scored 22 points.

“The way you see Jace and I embrace each other off the court … we’ll look at each other dead in the eyes and be like, ‘yup, it’s time.’ And we can flip the switch that quick,” Currie said. “When you have two guys together and a whole team around that supports us like that, you get that eye contact and we just go from there.”

After the teams walked through the post-game handshake line, VanVoorhis made a beeline for Currie and the two embraced.

“I said, ‘this is what we do, this is what we live for, Beck,’” VanVoorhis said. “Day in, day out, we’re pushing each other all day at practice. I knew he was hitting that shot.”

Camas trailed by as many as 14 early in the third quarter after six straight points from Collins, who finished with a game-high 28 points.

Slowly but surely, the Papermakers started to chip away. Currie scored seven straight to bring Camas within 10. VanVoorhis, who scored Camas’ final four points of the quarter, continued to push the pace in transition to open the fourth, scoring a go-ahead layup with 5 minutes, 37 seconds left.

“We’re one big family, that’s all I gotta say,” VanVoorhis said. “(When) we come together, it’s hard to stop us.”

The Papermakers held on to that lead for the entirety of the quarter until Collins’ game-tying layup. Out of the timeout, Camas trusted Currie to close.

“They have developed a trust in each other where they’re willing to play with each other and complement each other,” Camas coach Ryan Josephson said of the guard duo. “It’s really nice that when one guy is being taken away or pressured hard, the other guy can step up and carry the load.”

The two were starters on last season’s Camas team alongside seniors Theo McMillan, Jamison Carlisle and Josh Dabasinskas. The Papermakers captured their first outright league title since 2011 and secured a program-best, sixth-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament.

While that team gained a belief and confidence at the Tacoma Dome that carried them through to the finish, this year’s group, albeit younger and less experienced, has been trying to recapture it, Josephson said. Yet after Tuesday’s   performance against a tough league opponent, the Papermakers may very well be getting closer.

“I think that our current group understands what the difference-maker is,” Josephson said, “but, living that out is another thing entirely. Because you got to find it within yourself. That’s where tonight, some of those guys started to find where they can really shine in roles and play with that belief.”

Channing Nesland added 12 points for Camas, starting in place of injured sophomore post Ethan Harris, who was sidelined with a knee injury.

CAMAS 69, SKYVIEW 66

SKYVIEW — Landon Webb 0, Javen Fletch 0, Gavin Packer 2, Gavin Perdue 19, Malakai Weimer 11, Demaree Collins 28, Ryan Hanson 2, Jaxson Filler 4. Totals 23 (9) 11-16 66.

CAMAS — Beckett Currie 22, Cade Washington 3, Matthew Sitler 3, Nyima Namru 7, Jace VanVoorhis 22, Channing Nesland 12, Sam Perry 0. Totals 25 (7) 11-14 69.

Skyview 14 23 20 9—66

Camas 16 13 22 18—69

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