Washougal fought back to within four points going into the fourth quarter Friday at Camas High School, before the Papermakers pulled away for a 74-54 victory.
“I love the support we got from both communities. It made the game a lot of fun,” said Camas head coach Skyler Gillispie. “Both teams came out and played extremely hard.”
The Papermakers scored the first six points of the fourth quarter from the foul line. Trevor Jasinsky made four of those baskets and Jake Hansel netted the other two.
Ryan Taylor powered the ball through the net for Washougal, and added a foul shot to complete the 3-point play. Camas then put the game out of reach.
“The fourth quarter is what we pride ourselves on,” Gillispie said. “The guys did a good job of sticking to the process, and it paid off big time.”
Jordan Lenard rose above the Panthers, tipped the ball off the glass with one hand and scored two points for the Papermakers. Nick Lopes won the battle for a rebound off the missed 3-point attempt by Lenard. Lopes kicked the ball back to Lenard, and Lenard drove to the hoop to score two more points. Hansel hit a lay up and a 3-pointer to give Camas a 14-point lead. Brandon Nguyen added to it with fast breaks for points, rebounds and put backs.
“No matter what the score was, we just brought up the intensity one more notch,” Nguyen said. “Our group of seniors have played together since sixth grade. We want to make the most of this last season together.”
Five Papermakers finished in double figures. Lenard led with 17 points, Jasinsky and Nguyen both added 14, Hansel had 13 and Lopes scored 10.
Washougal head coach Malcolm Estes said Yorro Bah played his best game of the season. He attacked the basket and made most of his foul shots for a total of 14 points. Taylor and Rick Stephens hit 3-pointers to spark a comeback for the Panthers in the third quarter. Austin Tran drove to the hoop at the buzzer. His shot rolled out, but he drew a foul and drained both shots at the line to cut the Camas lead to 45-41.
“I thought we played well for two out of the four quarters,” Estes said. “We have to learn to play against pressure. Games like that are good for us.”
Before blowing Washougal out in the fourth quarter Friday, the Papermakers won a game in the last second at Hockinson Wednesday. The crazy conclusion will be talked about for ages.
Hockinson fans rushed the court with one second left on the clock after the Hawks had just taken the lead. The officials called a technical foul on Hockinson, Lenard made both foul shots for Camas and the Papermakers walked away with an unforgettable 72-71 victory.
Lenard redeemed himself after causing the foul that sent Hockinson’s Alan Haagen to the line to take three free throws.
“I thought I had just cost the game for my team,” Lenard said. “It was the most un-clutch moment of my career to the most clutch moment of my career.”
Haagen hit all three foul shots to put the Hawks up by one point, but the lead would be short lived. A foul on the Hockinson fans sent Lenard to the stripe with a chance to win the game for Camas.
“That first one going down was the hardest one,” he said. “The crowd was so loud. It was the biggest shot I ever had to take.”
But it sure made the second free throw easier.
“That one felt good from the moment it left my hands,” Lenard said. “It was redemption. We were meant to win this game.”
The Papermakers found a way to win their first five games of the season, but there is still plenty of basketball left to play.
“We need to be humble and stay hungry,” Gillispie said. “We still have a few more weeks before league starts. We can’t take any of those days for granted.”