The Camas High School girls basketball team put the pressure on Jesuit in the final minutes of the game, but just ran out of time and lost by four points at home Tuesday.
The Papermakers outscored the Crusaders 17-6 in the fourth quarter, and cut the deficit down to two points with 2.2 seconds left on the clock, before Jesuit made two more foul shots to secure a 34-30 victory.
“We’re more of a second half team, and we always have been. We know that needs to change,” said senior wing Emma Jones. “We need to start every game with that intensity. Not wait until the fourth quarter with two minutes to go. Show it in the first quarter, first two minutes and score.”
Jesuit led by 13 points going into the fourth quarter. Madison Freemon cut it to 10 on a 3-pointer. Camas made a defensive stand, got a fast break, but missed a shot. Freemon scrambled for an offensive rebound and was fouled on the put back. She went 1-for-2 from the line to get Camas within nine.
“Once I scored that three, it was like ‘we can do this,'” Freemon said. “It’s always great when you make a shot that’s most needed.”
The Crusaders answered with a long pass down the court for an easy two points. Courney Clemmer turned up the aggression in the paint for the Papermakers. She finished the game with 10 points and 11 rebounds. She was also 6-for-6 from the foul line.
“We had all the skills with us, we just needed to bring it all together,” Clemmer said. “We’ve been known to be a fourth quarter team, but we need to be a full game team. A 32-minute team.”
Still down by six, Camas forced a turnover and Jones hit a jump shot to get the Papermakers within four with 10.8 second left. Jones then intercepted a deep pass by Jesuit, and Meghan Finley got the ball to Freemon on the way to the hoop for two more points.
Camas had to foul to stop the clock at 1.4 seconds. Two more baskets from the line by the Crusaders put the game out of reach.
“Defensively, I was pretty pleased,” said Camas head coach Scott Preuninger. “You got to be able to win games when you hold a team to 34 points. Obviously offensively, we struggled.
“When teams pressure you and they take you out of what you are trying to run, you got to make plays. You got to be basketball players,” he added. “That’s what they started doing in the fourth quarter.”
Camas has four seniors in Finley, Jones, Stephanie Knight and Teague Schroeder who have been playing together since they were freshmen. Juniors Clemmer, Freemon, Jillian Webb, Maggie Wells and Jordyn Wilds are also building a strong connection.
Camas hosts Hockinson Dec. 12, Central Catholic Dec. 16 and Post Falls, Idaho, Dec. 17, before traveling to Bishop Blanchett Dec. 20, Moses Lake Dec. 22, Wenatchee Dec. 23 and Bellarime Prep Dec. 30.
Jones said this gives Camas time to find that winning formula before league games start in January.
She loves game nights when the gyms are packed with Papermakers.
“It makes me feel so good that there are people from your school taking time out of their night to come watch you play,” Jones said. “I want to show a lot of Camas pride. I’m proud to wear this uniform, I’m proud of my team, proud of our fans and proud of this community that we live in, because we’re really fortunate.”