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The Wait Is Over
Camas County ends 50-year drought, knocks off Kendrick 56-42
Published: 3/2/2024 9:35:02 PM


NAMPA — Camas County left no doubt Saturday in ending the school’s 50-year drought for a boys basketball title.

The wait is over,” Camas County coach Jamon Frostenson declared with a triumphant raised fist after the game.

The No. 1-ranked Mushers raced out to an early lead and dominated Kendrick from start to finish, knocking off the defending state champs, 56-42, in the Class 1A Division II state championship game.

Camas County (23-3), which last won a boys title in 1974, never trailed.

We’ve gotten close before and had our hearts broken, but for the kids to walk in and do what they needed to do to win that game is huge,” Frostenson said.

Kendrick (24-5) fell short in its bid to win an 11th state title after defeating Camas County in the state championship football game in November.

We just couldn’t score in big bunches,” Kendrick coach Tim Silflow said. “We talked to the players about trying not to get in a big hole against Camas County because we knew it would be hard to chip away at that with the defense. But hats off to Camas County. They’re a good program and they battled really well.”

While Kendrick already has a trophy case full of state titles, Camas County now has a second one to pair with the school’s only other basketball title.

It’s been a group effort since we were in fourth grade and even younger,” said Tristen Smith, who scored a game-high 18 points and was named the Player of the Game. “We’ve been coming out and working hard. This is where we wanted to be at the end of the season, and it’s amazing.”

Frostenson gushed about the Mushers’ defense, which caused 10 turnovers in the first half and set the tone for the game.

I wrote it on the board before the game that the keys to the game were defense and boxing out. The offense would take care of itself,” Frostenson said. “And our defenders came and locked in. They love getting after guys and getting turnovers.”

Camas County found success early on both ends of the court, building a 10-0 lead behind yeoman’s work from Emmett Palan in the post. He scored a pair of layups and added two free throws as the Mushers took control.

Kendrick struggled offensively, missing their first five shots before finally getting on track with 2:25 left in the opening quarter when Ty Koepp sank a 6-foot jumper.

The Tigers cut the deficit in half at 12-6 before Camas County twins Troy and Tristen Smith knocked down a 3-pointer and 10-foot jumper, respectively, to close out the quarter with a 17-6 lead.

Both teams struggled offensively in the second quarter with Camas County shooting just 20 percent from the floor, but Kendrick didn’t fare much better, hitting only 27 percent of its shots.

But with Kendrick inching closer, Sage Patten—starting in place of Tyson Tupper, who injured his back just before districts—drained a 3-pointer just before halftime to maintain the Mushers’ 11-point advantage at 24-13.

When you get down here, it’s a different environment,” Koepp said. “The defense is a whole different level from every team. You can’t just set up and be more athletic than the other team. You’ve got to run an offense, and that’s something we struggled with throughout the game.”

Troy Smith came out like a one-man wrecking crew for the Mushers to start the third quarter. He scored on a layup and then on Camas’ next possession drilled a 3-pointer to give the Mushers at 29-15 advantage, their biggest lead of the game to the point.

Then on Kendrick’s next possession, Smith took a charge.

We wanted to come out strong,” Troy Smith said. “We said it’s the last half of our lives and we’ve only got two quarters left, so we’re going to leave it all our there. And that’s what we displayed in those last two quarters.”

Kendrick struggled to get the kind of sustained run they needed to get back in the game, never cobbling together more than a run of four points, a testament to Camas County’s stifling defense.

Camas County closed out the game by keeping Kendrick in check, keeping up the same defensive intensity it had in the opening quarter.

Kendrick was led by Nathan Tweit with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Koepp finished with nine points.

Troy Smith and Patten each added 10 points to help lead Camas County, while Emmet Palan ripped down 12 rebounds and scored nine.

This is the goal we worked all year for, our whole lives actually,” Troy Smith said. “Some of us are never going to walk on a basketball court again, but we’re walking out state champions, and that’s what it’s all about.”













Camas County






KENDRICK (21-5) – Nathan Tweit 15, Ty Koepp 9, Ralli Roetcisoender 6, Wyatt Cook 6, Hunter Taylor 4, Dallas Morgan 2, Lane Clemenhagen 0, Cade Silflow 0, Mason Kimberling 0, Anthony Lewis 0

CAMAS COUNTY (23-3) – Tristen Smith 18, Troy Smith 10, Sage Patten 10, Trevor Tews 9, Emmett Palan 9, Zach Pittock 0, Clancy Rablin 0, Quinn Palan 0, Nate Pine 0, Tyson Tupper 0

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