Camas mayor, city council honor Camas High basketball champs

Coach: community supported girls team ‘at every step’

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Camas Mayor Steve Hogan this week proclaimed April 15-20 “Camas High School Girls Basketball 4A State Championship Team Week.”

“To get into the state playoffs is a privilege, and it’s high pressure. It’s kind of like climbing mountains — the higher you get, the higher the pressure, and there’s only room for one the top,” Hogan said during the Camas City Council’s meeting on Monday, April 15. “In 2022, they came in fourth place. In 2023, they came in second place. And in 2024, they are the state champions. … It is so impressive for me, personally, to see that this team made the state championship playoffs three times and improved each time they were there.”

Speaking to The Post-Record before the meeting, Papermakers coach Scott Thompson said the City’s recognition is a “reflection” of the community support the team received throughout the season.

“I mean, we’ve been so well supported at every step,” he said. “And even if you just look at some of the games that we played, all of our home games were packed every night. Even going to the Tacoma Dome, that championship game, I don’t know if there was a crowd there that had more people than us in all of the championship games at all the levels. It just feels like we get so much support from our community. This is a great city, and these kids have all been raised in this city, and have been supported and given so many great opportunities. And here we are, still getting supported.”

Camas City Administrator Doug Quinn passed out copies of the proclamation, enclosed in blue folders, to Camas High players and coaches while senior guard Riley Sanz spoke to the Council about the community support the team received during its state championship run. Hogan then read the proclamation, and the players and coaches posed for photographs with City leaders and the state championship trophy.

“I think it’s just such a cool experience for us to be the state champions from our small town,” Sanz said. “All of us pretty much have grown up here since elementary school, and we just want to say ‘Thanks’ to our community and everyone here for supporting us. The love has been felt throughout the season and my four years here. I feel like our fans and supporters have grown tremendously. We always had a full crowd. I’m always being stopped at the gym or a local store by people who I’ve never met before who congratulate me on our state championship or just recognize me. It’s really cool to have that sense of community here in Camas.”

Camas posted a 22-6 record during the 2023-24 season, winning the 4A Greater St. Helens League title before claiming all six of its postseason games, including the 4A championship contest, 57-41 over Gonzaga Prep on March 2 at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington.

“It was really fun,” Sophie Buzzard, a junior guard, told The Post-Record before the Council meeting. “(Winning the state title) meant so much because of how hard we worked throughout the whole season. It was our main goal from the beginning of the season … and our hard work paid off.”

In 2022, a young Papermakers squad placed fourth at the 4A Hardwood Classic for the program’s first state trophy. Last season, a Camas team that featured just one senior fell short in the 4A title game, losing to Eastlake.

“I think everyone’s mindset (heading into this season) was the state championship, so we didn’t even really need to talk about it,” Sanz told The Post-Record before the meeting. “I mean, obviously, it was our goal. We all talked about it being our goal. But I think instead of totally emphasizing it, we emphasized the little things, like having fun and creating great relationships with each other. Having fun was a big thing, but obviously the state championship was the biggest thing.”

After finishing so close to its ultimate goal the year before, the team didn’t shy away from embracing lofty expectations this season, according to Thompson.

“The year is long, and you’re trying to improve the whole season, but being able to keep that up in our locker room all year was a massive motivating factor for us,” he said. The Papermakers prepared themselves for the state tournament by facing off against some of the nation’s top teams in non-league play. Camas played Etiwanda, California, and Archbishop Mitty, California, which finished Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the final SBLive/SI Power 25 rankings for the 2023-24 season; Mater Dei (California), which began the season in the rankings; Maret (Washington, D.C.), which advanced to the semifinals of its state tournament in 2024; Garfield (Washington), which won the 3A Hardwood Classic in 2024; and Clackamas (Oregon), which won the 6A state championship in 2023 and took third place at the state tournament in 2024.

“Being able to experience that, what that felt like, the size, the strength, trying to find ways to be successful against such talented players, we were just hoping that we could learn and grow from it, and then become it,” Thompson said.

The team was led by a trio of seniors: Addison Harris, the 6-foot-2 forward who will graduate as the program’s career leader in scoring (1,411 points), rebounds (852) and blocks (94) after averaging 15.8 points and nearly eight rebounds per game in 2023-24; Reagan Jamison, a Penn commit and 4A all-state tournament team selection; and Sanz, who averaged 9.5 points and 3.1 assists in addition to being one of the team’s best defenders.

“When we go around the state, everybody talks about our offense, everybody talks about our passing, how connected we were offensively … how hard we were to defend,” Thompson said. “But ultimately, it was our defense … that made us special. When we went through our playoff run, we were consistently holding every team we played to their lowest points of the year. These girls were so connected defensively, they were so tough defensively, that we could survive bad shooting nights, we could survive bad moments offensively.”