Before the holiday break began, the Camas basketball teams headed down the road to Union to play for bragging rights in the 4A Greater St. Helens League Friday night.
Courtney Clemmer broke a 21-21 tie for the Camas girls with a jump shot in the last few minutes of a defensive scramble at Union.
“I remember it came off a really good pass,” she said. “A good pass sets up a good shot.”
Emma Jones and Meghan Finley made baskets to keep the Papermakers in the lead. Union still had a chance to tie the score with seven seconds left. Clemmer grabbed a defensive rebound to help Camas put the finishing touches on a 27-25 victory.
“I didn’t have the best rebounding game, but I got the one that counted,” Clemmer said. “Everyone fought for every single ball. That’s how we were able to pull this one out.”
Haley Hanson hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter to help the Papermakers build a 16-10 advantage at halftime.
“Our whole team momentum got us going,” Hanson said. “I had to knock down those shots.”
Union scored six straight points out of the gate in the third quarter to tie the score. From there, it was back and forth until the final buzzer sounded.
Camas beat Evergreen 41-24 Dec. 15 to start off league play with two straight victories. Clemmer scored 11 points and Hanson added 10.
The Papermakers also beat Columbia River, Prairie and Hockinson in the first three games of the season. Their only loss has been to Jesuit.
“There are some improvements to make, but that’s basketball. We’re going to peak at the right time of the season,” Clemmer said. “We’re going to play together as a team, we’re going to become a family and we’re going to be unstoppable.”
Although the Camas girls gained a victory in the final seconds Friday, the Camas boys have not been lucky in crunch time. They lost to Wilson by four points, fell to Prairie in overtime and came up short to Evergreen by two points.
On Friday, the Papermakers saw their six-point lead evaporate in the second quarter. Union outscored Camas 61-34 the rest of the way to win 76-55.
“We came out motivated,” said junior guard Jake Hansel. “We were 0-5, and we’ve been in every single game that we’ve played.
“There comes a point where we got to play with that chip on our shoulder,” he added. “We got find that killer instinct and get after it. We can’t allow these teams to get back in the game.”
The Camas boys host Benson High School, of Portland, Oregon, today. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m.
After the holiday break, the Papermaker boys and girls teams go to Bend, Oregon, for a tournament. It begins Monday, Dec. 28.
“It’s not a chance to start over, but a chance to prove ourselves,” Hansel said. “Prove that we are a better team than our record shows.”