The Camas boys basketball team caught fire in the second half of a tie ball game, while the Washougal boys went ice cold.
“We were tired of morale victories,” said Camas head coach Skyler Gillispie. “We wanted to go out there, finish strong and win this game.”
The Papermakers played with more urgency and composure, and were rewarded with a 51-47 victory against their longtime rivals.
Camas rallied to tie the score on a 15-9 scoring drive in the second quarter. Nick Lopes and Jordan Lenard attacked the basket and ignited a 17-10 swing for the Papermakers in the third quarter.
“We were just running on adrenaline,” Lenard said. “Everyone was out there playing hard and for each other.”
Washougal could not come up with an answer until Sean Guthrie hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to bring the Panthers back within three points. Austin Tran hit a running basket and a foul shot for 19 points in the game, but Washougal couldn’t get another 3-pointer or foul shot to drop.
“Camas had a good game plan and executed it. I give them all the credit,” said Washougal head coach Malcolm Estes. “Our kids like running up and down the court very fast. We have to be able to make adjustments when teams take that away from us.”
Drew Clarkson grabbed the biggest rebound of the game for Camas, when Washougal desperately needed to get the ball back. He also made a foul shot to boot.
“These guys have been playing their hearts out,” Gillispie said. “I told Drew to go in there and get me a board, and he got me a board. Those are the kinds of things we can build on.”
The Panthers and Papermakers both won a game against each other at home. Fans will have to wait until next season to settle the score.
“I welcome playing Washougal every year,” Gillispie said. “It’s fun for the kids. Both schools show up and have a good time.”
Camas (2-7) and Washougal (8-4) play their first league games Thursday. The Panthers host Ridgefield and the Papermakers go to Skyview. Both games begin at 7 p.m.