Seven losses during the preseason made the Camas High School boys basketball players angry, but Thursday was an opportunity for a fresh start and the Papermakers capitalized on it.
“We started to take ownership of the season and set our goals high,” said junior forward Trevor Jasinsky. “We want to show people that even though we are the underdogs, we are going to give all we can every game.”
Propelled by a 14-2 swing in the second quarter, Camas defeated Skyview 54-49 in the school’s first 4A Greater St. Helens League basketball game. Trent Johnson delivered 13 points, Jasinsky netted 12, and Jordan Lenard and Kyle Robb each added eight.
“It was a great start for league,” Johnson said. “A lot of people didn’t expect us to go to Skyview and do that. I hope we can keep improving and get more and more wins.”
Head coach Skyler Gillispie pushed the Papermakers harder in practice Friday. He made the boys run lines and do their drills over and over again until they got them right.
“The time to celebrate was yesterday. The time to get better is today,” Gillispie said. “The competition doesn’t stop working. We can’t be satisfied after just one win.”
Gillispie believes the league is wide open for the taking. The Papermakers just need to believe in themselves and continue to fine tune all the details of the game, from defense, blocking and rebounding to passing and shooting. He wants Camas to be the aggressor instead of waiting for the opposition to make its move and then reacting. By then, it’s too late.
“We can’t promise any wins in this league, but we can be competitive and that’s our goal,” Gillispie said. “As tough as that preseason was, they didn’t let it become their identity. These guys have a lot to fight for and a lot of people to prove wrong.”
The Camas girls basketball team faced defending state champion Skyview in its 4A Greater St. Helens League debut Friday.
A 9-0 scoring drive to close out the third quarter helped the Papermakers cut the deficit down to six points, but then the Storm rained in three 3-pointers in a row to get back up by 15 points. Skyview outscored Camas 23-6 in the fourth quarter to put the finishing touches on a 70-47 victory.
“Give Skyview credit for hitting big shots. Our defense wasn’t good enough to get back in the game,” said Camas girls head coach Chuck Knight. “It’s only one game. There’s still a lot of basketball left to be played.”
Knight said Friday’s loss brought back nightmares from last season’s defeat to Skyview in the opener. The Papermakers rebounded from that loss in a big way and reached the state tournament for the first time since 1978. Knight reminded the girls that one loss does not make a season, even if it is a league game. Camas gets another crack at Skyview Tuesday, Jan. 22, at home. All that matters now is the next game.
“That game is already behind us,” Knight said. “I want to see enthusiasm, confidence and intensity on Tuesday.”
The Camas basketball teams host Evergreen today. The boys play first at 5:30 p.m., followed by the girls. The Papermakers play at Union Friday. The girls are up first at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys.