Camas girls lose grip in first round of state tournament

Bellarmine Prep bests Papermakers by 25

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Brenna Khaw takes the ball to the hoop for Camas during Saturday's state regional game, at Puyallup High School. Bellarmine Prep took control in the second quarter and coasted to a 59-34 victory.

Saturday’s state regional playoff game slipped away from Camas High School girls basketball team in the second quarter.

“I’m disappointed in the way the game went, but I’m not disappointed in the kids and what they accomplished,” said head coach Chuck Knight.

Seniors Nikki Corbett and Brenna Khaw established a connection right off the bat. Corbett scored four points and Khaw nailed a 3-pointer to tie the score at 7. But after that, it was all Bellarmine Prep. The Lions used their size and athleticism to obliterate the Papermakers 59-34.

“Once they started making easy baskets and the calls weren’t going our way, we got down and discouraged,” Khaw said.

Corbett led Camas with 16 points, despite having several unlucky bounces off the rim throughout the game. Khaw added seven points and a handful of assists. The two Papermakers have been inseparable on the court for the past six years. As Corbett heads to Western Washington University to play basketball, she hopes Khaw can find a college where she can continue her love for the game.

“I’m going to miss my teammates the most. Nobody is ever going to replace them,” Corbett said. “Not everybody is a winner every single game. When I come back home in December, I hope these girls are getting better so they can move forward from here.”

The final game turned into a lost cause for the Papermakers, but Knight said it shouldn’t define their season. Camas won 14 games in a row, and became the first team from the league to defeat Skyview since 2011. An unrelenting effort helped the Papermakers become co-league champions and one of 16 best teams in the state.

Knight thanked Corbett, Khaw and Rachel Gray contributions to the Camas basketball program.

“They dedicated themselves for four years,” Knight said of the seniors. “Because of their dedication, we made it this far and we’re bringing home lots of great memories.”

Khaw had advice for the returning and future Papermakers.

“Just play fearless, work hard in practice every single day and stay together as a team,” she said. “We’re headed in the right direction.”