CAMAS — For much of Friday night, Union looked like it might drop its first league loss since January 2018.
A much-improved Camas delivered the first punch and sustained an intensity that helped it hold the lead for most of the 4A/3A Greater St. Helen’s League game.
But junior point guard Bryson Metz hit a go-ahead corner 3 with 4:247 to go, and sunk consecutive free throws to put the game out of reach with seconds left to lift Union (4-0) to a win over Camas (3-1) at Union High School.
“We knew we were in for a tough one,” Union coach Blake Conley said. “I think there was a lot to be discouraged by for our kids, but they stayed with it and were pretty mentally tough.”
Union guard Kaden Horn finished with 19 points, Izaiah Vongnath had 17 (the two combined to hit nine of Union’s 12 3s) for the Titans. Breakout junior 6-5 guard/forward Carson Frawley finished with 22 points.
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The Titans thwarted attempts for Camas to reclaim the lead through gritty defensive stops, key rebounds and winning 50-50 balls — a tone set by 6-2 senior Jake Bowen, who drew praise for winning loose balls and pulling down key boards.
“We’re so small that we needed that from him,” Conley said.
With a core of returners for whom the taste of a 4th place league finish (7-13 overall record) lingered bitter, Camas hopped up to a 3-0 start.
The Papermakers nabbed wins over Gonzaga commit Kaden Perry-led Battle Ground and Skyview, which finished seventh at state in 2020. Momentum was in their favor entering Friday night.
“Last year especially, I don’t think anyone was happy,” Frawley said. “We’re rejuvenated, saying ‘hey, we’re better than this.’
“We proved we’re at their level.”
Horn said Camas’ intensity, particularly on defense, was notable — and tough to adjust to.
“They’re always in it,” Horn said. “A lot of teams that play against us fold … the whole entire game (Camas) had a lot of energy.”