The Camas High School girls basketball team is going to the Tacoma Dome for the first time in school history.
“It almost hasn’t hit me yet that we’re going,” said senior Teague Schroeder. “I feel like when we actually walk in there, we’ll be like, ‘Wow! This is it! We’re here! Let’s roll!’”
The Washougal High School girls basketball team is going back to the Yakima Sun Dome for the second year in a row.
“I just want to prove that even though we’re young, we can hang with these teams,” said sophomore Beyonce Bea. “We’re just going to keep growing and improving.”
Basketball fans from each town have the opportunity to see the Panthers and Papermakers play their first round state tournament games Saturday, at Rogers High School in Puyallup.
Number-six ranked Washougal (16-5) faces No. 3 White River (23-2), at 2 p.m. No. 8 ranked Camas (16-7) challenges No. 1 Kentlake (22-4), at 4 p.m.
The tournaments continue in Tacoma and Yakima March 1 to 4.
“When you start the year, every team in the state wants to be in that top eight,” said Camas head coach Scott Preuninger. “So now, here we are, and hopefully we’ll take advantage of it.”
The Papermakers finished in second place in the 4A bi-district tournament.
On Feb. 10, Camas rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat Rogers-Puyallup 60-55. Haley Hanson hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Courtney Clemmer added a basket and a foul shot to give Camas a one-point lead with three minutes left in the game. Emma Jones and Madison Freemon netted a pair of free throws, and the Papermakers didn’t allow the Rams to score any more points.
Camas beat Auburn-Riverside 49-45 Feb. 15, for its 13th victory in a row. The Papermakers took the lead in the final minute on a field goal from Clemmer, assisted by Jones. Hanson sealed the victory by sinking two free throws with 14 seconds to go.
Camas faced Bellarmine Prep in the championship game Feb. 18. The Papermakers had the lead, but then went cold in the last four minutes. The Lions rallied for a 41-36 victory.
“You can’t win when you play a good team and just come out for 16 minutes of it or 20 minutes of it,” Jones said. “You need to come out for the full 32 and be willing to play your heart out for those four quarters.”
The Washougal girls basketball team beat Columbia River and Mark Morris for the third time this season to get back to the state tournament.
“Everything’s kind of lined up where we’ve had to overcome obstacles every game,” said head coach Brian Oberg. “It’s been really great to see these young girls come together and show some consistency.”
The Panthers defeated the Chieftains 55-29 Feb. 15. Bea scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Toryi Midland added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Mason Oberg set the table with seven assists, three steals and eight points. Maggie Hungerford and Lindsey Thomas each scored six points. Ashley Gibbons chipped in five.
Washougal then outlasted Mark Morris 46-40 Feb. 18, in a battle for survival.
The Monarchs hit two 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter. Oberg countered with a three of her own to keep the Panthers up by nine.
Mark Morris roared back within four. Bea hit a clutch basket under pressure and with the shot clock running down. Midland followed that up with a block.
“I just tried my hardest to take some off the pressure of Beyonce and Mason,” Midland said. “Just do the best that I can to get as many rebounds as I can. If I get the ball underneath, just go up confident and try to make it.”
Washougal got the ball back with a six-point lead. Oberg sealed the victory by making two free throws in the final 18 seconds.
Bea finished the game with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Midland delivered eight points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Tiana Barnett collected six points and 12 rebounds. Oberg went 6-for-6 from the foul line.
“These girls have got a lot of basketball left in their careers,” said coach Oberg. “Hopefully, we can go up there and surprise a few more teams. Just play smart and come home with some more hardware.”