Bittersweet loss for Camas boys

Papermakers fall short to Kentwood by two

"If you're going to lose, that's the way you want to go out, in a tough, gritty game."

-- Jake Hansel

“If you’re going to lose, that’s the way you want to go out, in a tough, gritty game.”

— Jake Hansel

Although they were thrilled to be playing in the basketball program’s first state playoff game in 51 years, turnovers and missed free throws in the final minute broke the Camas boy’s hearts.

Trevor Jasinsky spearheaded the Papermaker comeback with 22 points. Jordan Anderson and Jake Hansel each added 12 to help cut a 13-point halftime deficit down to two, but Camas couldn’t get any closer. Kentwood held on to a 55-53 victory Saturday, at Puyallup High School.

“We wish we could have gotten those last two points,” Jasinsky said. “We left everything on the basketball court. We didn’t want to stop playing. We didn’t want the game to end.”

The Papermakers turned up the heat in the third quarter with hopes of keeping their season alive. Jasinsky jump started the offense with a 3-pointer from up top. Camas got the ball back, James Price took it to the hoop for two points and drew a foul shot, but he missed his free throw. Hansel was fouled on a 3-point attempt, and made 2-of-3 from the line.

Anderson nailed his third 3-pointer of the game. Price then hit Anderson on a clear cut to the basket. Hansel also attacked the net for two more points.

Suddenly, Camas was back within three. Kentwood converted a 3-point play off a rebound, put back and foul shot to go back up by six at the end of the third quarter.

Price hit Hansel under the hoop for two Camas points to begin the fourth quarter. Kentood drained a 3-pointer, Jasinsky followed with a three of his own, but Kentwood added another three to maintain its eight-point advantage.

Camas got within five points at the foul line, but then neither team could make a basket for the next three minutes. Ethan Unger ended the drought with a pressure packed 3-pointer than brought the Papermakers back within two with 43.7 seconds on the clock. Camas missed three free throws and lost possession of the ball as time expired.

“If you’re going to lose, that’s the way you want to go out, in a tough, gritty game,” Hansel said.

“This should only make us more hungry,” Unger said. “It’s all about taking pride in what we do, looking at things we can work on and letting that drive us every single day.”

Hansel and Unger thanked Anderson, Jasinsky, Price, Andre De Los Rios, Kantas Zalpys and Jayce Allen for showing them the way.

“I haven’t seen a group of best friends like this in any other sport,” Hansel said. “They took me in as a freshman and made me a part of something special. These seniors never had a team to look up to. Now we do.”

Camas finished the season as winners in the classroom. Thirteen Papermakers earned the 4A academic state championship with a combined GPA of 3.707.

“We are very proud of our grades,” Anderson said. “There’s a lot of life after this. It’s not just about basketball.”

Anderson and Jasinsky said the love of the game they share with their best friends makes them all feel like winners on the court.

“I got to play basketball with the people I love the most,” Jasinsky said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

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