A total of six Clark County high school basketball teams closed out their seasons with a trip to the 3A/4A state basketball tournament at the Tacoma Dome, February 28-March 3.
The Skyview and Union boys teams and Camas and Union girls teams each advanced to the state tournament in the 4A classification, while Prairie sent both their boys and girls teams to the 3A state tourney.
Skyview Boys Capture Program’s First State Trophy
The Storm made program history by simply stepping onto the court at the Tacoma Dome as they became the first Skyview boys basketball team to play at the state tournament. The squad wasn’t satisfied with just that, however, as they went on to earn the sixth-place trophy.
Highlighted by the play of junior guard Alex Schumacher, who averaged a shade under 20 points an outing over the four-game tournament, Skyview (25-6) closed out their record-setting season with a loss to Enumclaw, 62-57, in the placing round.
Schumacher finished with a game-high 20 points against the Hornets, pushing his state tournament total to 79 points.
The Storm had a dramatic inaugural state playoff game, rallying from 5 points in the final 90 seconds to knock off Glacier Peak, 68-67, in a loser-out game.
Senior Samaad Hector’s put back with 4 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner for Skyview. Hector scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the Storm’s first-ever state basketball game. Sophomore Kyle Gruhler added 16 points and Schumacher scored 15 as the sharp-shooting duo combined to hit 7 3-pointers in the game.
Up next was undefeated and top-seeded Gonzaga Prep in the quarterfinals. The veteran Bullpups, who are 45-1 over their last 46 games, proved to be a little too strong for the Storm as they used a big third quarter and cruised to a 59-52 victory.
Schumacher had 25 points against the eventual state champions, the most by any opponent against Gonzaga Prep at the tournament, and Hector put up 13 points and 9 rebounds.
The Storm secured their first state trophy following a 64-56 win over Kamiak. Hector was dominant in the paint, scoring 26 points and adding 17 rebounds, including 7 on the offensive end, in the victory.
A year after finishing second in state, the Union boys were unable to get out of the first day of the tournament this season, losing 57-48 to Kamiak. The Titans (20-7) got 16 points from Ethan Smith and 13 from Tyler Combs, while junior Alishawuan Taylor registered a tournament-high 18 rebounds in the season-ending loss.
Camas and Union Girls End Strong Seasons at State
Much like the Skyview boys, the Union girls were also making their maiden trip to the 4A state tournament. Unfortunately for the Titans, their stay in Tacoma was significantly shorter as they faced league rival Camas in an opening day loser-out game.
The Papermakers, who won both regular season meetings against Union before going on to win the 4A Greater Saint Helens League, made it a perfect 3-for-3 against the Titans this year after posting a 53-39 victory.
Union (18-8) received 10 points from sophomore Mackenzie Lewis and 8 each from senior Rebekah Barney and freshman Abbey Kaip.
Courtney Clemmer powered Camas with a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, while teammate Haley Hanson scored 10 points, going 3 for 7 from 3s.
The Papermakers could only muster 6 first-half points, missing 19 out of 22 shots from the field, in their 58-27 quarterfinal loss to second-seeded Eastlake, which sent Camas into the consolation bracket.
The shooting woes would resurface in the Papermakers’ second half against Kentridge in a loser-out game. It proved to be too much for Camas (17-10) to overcome as they fell one game short of picking up a trophy with their 60-44 loss to the Chargers.
Prairie Sends Both Teams to 3A State Tournament
The Prairie boys, playing in the state tournament for the first time since 2008, saw their season come to an end with a 65-60 loss to Wilson in an opening round loser-out contest. The Falcons led, 34-26, at the intermission and 48-43 at the end of the third quarter, but were unable to hold on down the stretch.
Senior Dante Heitschmidt and junior Kameron Osborn each scored a team-high 16 points for Prairie, the co-3A Greater Saint Helens League champions. Sophomore Zeke Dixson also added 9 points for the Falcons (20-7), while senior Matthew Kogler scored 9 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in the loss.
The Prairie girls (21-4) also had its stellar year end in a loser-out game on the first day of the state tournament after losing to Stanwood, 49-45. Brooke Walling scored 27 points against the Spartans, while fellow junior Mallory Williams chipped in 7 points.
The Falcons, who went a perfect 10-0 in 3A GSHL play this season, featured no seniors on a team that pulled off wins this year over 2A state champion W.F. West (64-59), 3A state champion Gig Harbor (42-35) and 4A state participants Camas (55-41) and Union (52-27).