With two minutes left in a Dec. 11 game against the Camas Papermakers, the West Linn Lions girls basketball team — Oregon’s top-ranked 6A team — took a five-point lead and appeared to be in control of the young Papermaker squad.
Aaronette Vonleh, the Lions’ talented 6′ 4″ center and sister of former Portland Trail Blazer Noah Vonleh, was dominating play under the basket. But Camas had worked out a defensive strategy that led to some important turnovers.
“She’s such a good player, so we practiced how to front her and get help from the side, and it’s the first time we’ve ever done anything like this,” Camas senior guard Haley Hanson said of defending against a player like Vonleh.
Hanson took back control of the game by taking advantage of a couple late-game turnovers. She drew fouls, hit important free throws and set up her teammates for quality shots.
“It felt awesome,” Hanson said.
With 20 seconds left, Camas’ Haylie Johnson hadn’t scored a field goal all night, but squared up and swished a jump shot, forcing the game into overtime.
Booth comes up big again in overtime
In overtime, Hanson got the Papermakers rolling by hitting a clutch 3-pointer, but then it was senior Hannah Booth who stepped up and hit two key shots, something she did a few weeks earlier during an overtime win over Bellarmine Prep from Tacoma, Washington.
“Hannah came out and scored four points in overtime against Prep, who was the eighth-ranked 4A team in the state, and then comes out tonight and scores two quick baskets in overtime, which was just huge, absolutely huge,” Camas girls basketball coach Scott Thompson said.
After an epic battle in a game that featured long scoring runs by both teams, Camas ended the match by thrilling their fans with a final run, defeating West Linn 52-47.
Hanson finished with 17 points and six assists. Sophomore Faith Bergstrom battled her way to 12 hard-earned points and eight rebounds, and sophomore Jalena Carlisle pulled down 13 rebounds and added eight points.