After six losses to start the season, the Camas High School boys basketball team had the breakout game it so desperately needed three days before Christmas.
Five Papermakers scored in double figures to help Camas defeat Benson, of Portland, Oregon, 70-36, Dec. 22, at Camas High School.
Tanner Fogle led with 14 points, Jake Hansel added 13, Matt Murphy netted 12, Alex Glikbarg notched 11 and Ethan Unger had 10.
“It felt like the weight had been lifted off our shoulders,” Fogle said. “We got that first win. Let’s play from here. Don’t worry about the past. It’s all about the future from here on out.”
The Papermakers jumped out to a 25-7 lead in the first quarter, and increased it to 39-15 at halftime.
“It felt good to get off to a good start,” Glikbarg said. “We couldn’t just quit right there. We knew we had to finish it out.”
Fogle, Glikbarg and Bryan Nguyen are the nucleus of the Camas Heat 3-on-3 street ball team. Hansel, Logan Miller and Cooper McNatt have joined them in tournaments during the summer months.
“We’ve all played together since first grade. We’ve become like brothers,” Fogle said.
“For years, we have been dreaming about this — playing in front of a big crowd for your school at the varsity level,” Glikbarg said. “There’s no better feeling than putting on that Camas uniform and knowing what you’re representing.”
Fogle and Glikbarg have worked extremely hard to earn the opportunity to start for the Papermakers this season.
“I’ve worked my butt off to be here,” Glikbarg said. “It’s nice knowing it’s all paid off, but I have a lot more work to do. We all do.”
“It shows you how much the hard work has paid off,” Fogle said. “It also opens your eyes to how much more you can accomplish. You just want to do more to help the team.”
League play heats up again for the Camas boys after the holiday break. The Papermakers head to Battle Ground Monday, Jan. 4, and Heritage Friday, Jan. 8.
Camas then hosts Skyview Tuesday, Jan. 12, and Mountain View Friday, Jan. 15, before the second run through league begins.
There is still plenty of basketball left for the Papermakers to turn their season around.
“Don’t let the past dictate how we play,” Fogle said. “We want to change people’s thoughts about Camas basketball. Don’t just look at our record. Look at how we play.”
Glikbarg hopes the Camas boys can add a few more banners to the warehouse.
“District champions first, and then move on to state,” he said. “And academic state champions. We won that last year, and would like to repeat it.”
But first, the boys must take care of the little things off the court. Eating healthy, hydrating and getting plenty of rest.
“There are a lot of little things that separate the best from the rest,” Glikbarg said. “We want to be the best.”
Glikbarg believes the proper blueprint is in place.