The Camas High School boys and girls basketball teams are on the same path to the state tournament.
The first stop is Saturday, at Puyallup High School. The Papermaker boys (17-6) play Kentwood (22-3) at 4 p.m., and the Camas girls (18-6) battle Bellarmine Prep (21-2) at 6 p.m. Only the winners advance to the Tacoma Dome.
Both Camas teams made history in the warehouse Friday. The girls outlasted Battle Ground 51-48 in a pressure packed game to return to state for the second time since 2012. With Papermaker fever spreading like wildfire, the boys beat Battle Ground 60-50 to reach the state tournament for the first time since 1964.
Emma Jones went to the free throw line for Camas with the score tied at 48-48 and 32 seconds left on the clock. As the Tiger fans roared for her to miss, and the Papermakers held their breath, Jones blocked out the noise and drained both shots.
“There wasn’t much time left. I had to make those for my team and for everyone who supports us,” Jones said. “Now it’s time for somebody else to step up and be the hero. We’re all about helping the team.”
Battle Ground went to leading scorer Joselynn Blackmon on its next possession. Jones and Nikki Corbett smothered the Tiger in the paint and blocked her potential tying shot.
Brenna Khaw grabbed the ball after the block, and she was fouled with 13 seconds left. She made one of her two foul shots to put the Papermakers up by three. Battle Ground got one last good look from behind the 3-point line. The ball bounced around the rim and popped back out as the final buzzer sounded.
Khaw finished the game with 14 points. Courtney Cleammer added 12 and Corbett had 11.
The Camas boys felt the pressure of trying to end a 51-year drought of state tournament appearances, and trailed by three points at halftime. The Papermakers came out of their locker room and outscored Battle Ground 19-9 in the third quarter to take command of their destiny.
Camas racked up 11 threes in the game. Trevor Jasinsky led with 17 points and Ethan Unger added 10.
“I don’t know when the last time both the boys and girls teams made it to state. The last time for us was 1964. It’s been a long time coming for this community,” Jasinsky said. “We’ve always wanted to play on the biggest stage against the best teams. It’s what all the hard work has been for these past four years.”