The Henley Hornets defeated Astoria 41-38 to clinch their second 4A girls basketball state championship. (Photo by Jim Beseda)
The Henley Hornets defeated Astoria 41-38 to clinch their second 4A girls basketball state championship. (Photo by Jim Beseda)

FOREST GROVE -- On a night when both teams struggled to put the ball through the basket, Henley’s Annie Campos found some offense when it counted most.

Campos scored the go-ahead basket on a layup with 12.7 seconds remaining as the second-seeded Hornets clinched the OSAA/On Point Community Credit Union 4A girls basketball state championship with a 41-38 victory over the top-ranked Astoria Fishermen on Saturday at Forest Grove High School.

Campos finished with a game-high 14 points and Anna Harper added 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, helping guide the Hornets of Klamath Falls to their second state title and first since 2012.

“This is unbelievable,” said Henley coach Randy Denson, whose team finished the season with a 24-2 record. “I can’t tell you enough about how tough our kids are.

“Astoria plays great half-court defense and they played hard today. Things weren’t really falling our way, but I felt like we were pretty gritty when we needed to be tonight.”

Some hard-nosed defense at both ends of the court turned Saturday’s championship final into an offensive struggle from the opening jump.

After Henley took a 19-17 lead into halftime, the lead changed hand four times in the third quarter and two more times in the fourth before Astoria’s Tayla Huber made one of two free throws to give the Fishermen a 38-37 lead with 41.2 seconds to play.

With 15.1 seconds left, the Hornets called a timeout to set up an inbounds play under their own basket, looking for freshman Prestyn Schade to get the ball to either Campos or Harper cutting to the basket.

Schade tried to get the ball Harper as she crashed down the left side of the lane, but the ball went off an Astoria defender and out of bounds, giving the Hornets a chance to reset from the same spot with 14.2 seconds.

This time, Schade connected with Campos, who scored and drew a foul.

“That play can go to either me or Anna,” Campos said. “We don’t really care. We just want to get the ball inside. I ran up, the defense overplayed me a little bit, so I spun and the play was right there.”

Just the way the coaches drew it up, right?

“Well, kind of not really,” Denson said. “The great thing about it, Anna and Annie read each other, they talked and then … they came up with that play. We had Anna cutting back, but when Annie switched positions and cut back … that was all Annie.

“I’m confident 99 percent of the time with the ball in Annie’s hands near the basket. She’s usually going to score or she gets her own rebound or she gets to the free-throw line.”

When Campos failed to convert the three-point play, Astoria got the ball, pushed it into the front court, and called a timeout with 6.9 seconds left.

“We drew up our end-of-game, two-point play,” Astoria coach Teke Silva said. “We had what we wanted. Avery Biederman was going to break to the corner and Shelby Bruney had the lane to the basket, so we were going to send Shelby in on a pass from the corner. We just didn’t get the initial pass in.”

Turnover, Astoria.

Henley again got the ball to Campos, the Fishermen fouled, and Campos made both free throws to make it 41-38 with four seconds left.

Game over.

“It feels pretty good,” said Campos, a unanimous selection to the all-tournament first team. “We’ve been working for this for a long time. I think we wanted it more. In our huddles and out on the floor, we kept telling one another, ‘Fight to finish.’ That was our motto when we got here: Fight to finish. That’s all we could do. Fight to finish.”

Henley shot 28.9 percent (13 of 45) from the field, including 28.6 percent (2 of 7) from beyond the arc, and 59.1 percent (13 of 22) from the free-throw line — not great offensive statistics, but all of them better than the numbers Astoria posted.

“We all had a lot on our minds,” said Harper, the junior forward who also landed on the all-tournament first team. “We knew how big this game was. We knew we didn’t want to lose. We wanted this more than anyone here, so we made the most of our opportunity.

"We’ve been working at this all year. Last year, we got cut short by Philomath and finished fourth. This year, we got to the final and won it. We’re state champs. It feels amazing.”

Astoria’s Bruney, the junior guard, finished with a team-high 10 points. The Fishermen (23-5) also got nine points from senior guard Maitlin Young, eight points and nine rebounds from Huber, and 10 rebounds from junior forward Malory Dundas.

“It was a heckuva basketball game,” Silva said. “It was a defensive battle on both ends of the floor. Credit to Henley. They’re a good basketball team. They came out and played with a lot of heart. We just fell a little short tonight.

"This is the first state championship game that has ever been played in the history of Astoria girls basketball. Those kids have nothing to hang their heads about. We battled hard all year and, again, I think that game could have gone either way tonight. So, I think those kids need to keep their heads high. I wouldn’t want to go to battle with anyone but them.”

Saturday’s combined 79 points was the fewest points scored in a 4A girls championship final since 2012 when second-seeded Henley defeated top-seeded Sutherlin 41-35 at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

After finishing the regular season as co-champions of the Skyline Conference, the Hornets downed St. Helens 71-48 in the first round of the playoffs. Next they defeated Madras 81-54 in Thursday’s quarterfinals, followed by a 61-44 victory over Philomath in Friday’s semifinals.

“I thought we exceeded expectations,” Denson said. “Things couldn’t have gone any better for us over the last three days. And it’s all a credit to the girls buying in and working hard.”

In other games Saturday:

No. 4 Cascade 35, No. 3 Philomath 33

Senior guard Maddie Dustin scored 11 of her game-high 15 points in the second half and buried a three-pointer with 10.5 seconds remaining that helped lift the Cougars of Turner over the Warriors in Saturday’s third-place game.

Sophomore forward Rozalynn Schmunk added 13 points and seven rebounds, and junior forward Lexi Newton had a game-high 10 rebounds for the Cougars (19-8), who edged their Oregon West Conference rivals for the second time in three meetings this season.

“There’s nothing like a rivalry game at the state tourney,” Cascade coach Nick Randall said. “We’ve seen each other enough, which is why the game was a two-point game. We all know what we’re going to do.

“Tonight was just about who would outlast the other. It wasn’t who would play harder, because everybody played hard. But we knew it was going to be a grind. And when it’s a two-point game, it could have gone either way.”

There were seven ties and eight lead changes in the game. Cascade had the game’s biggest lead at 25-17 midway through the third quarter, but Philomath closed the period on a 9-0 run and led 26-25 going into the fourth.

Tied at 30-30, Dustin hit a pair of free throws with 1:18 remaining that put the Cougars in front.

After a Philomath turnover and a Cascade timeout, Cougars guard Olivia Bennett dribbled into a double-team in the right corner. With the shot clock down to three seconds, Bennett whipped a pass to Dustin, who drilled a desperation shot from the top of the arc that pushed the lead to 35-30.

“Holy smokes!” Randall said. “Talk about storybook-ending, made-for-TV stuff. Rivalry game, senior year, one of the best players in the state, clock winding down and she just steps up and splashes one.”

Philomath’s Zoee Howard converted a three-point with one second remaining to make it a two-point game, but there wasn’t enough time for anything else.

Cascade shot 29.8 percent (14 of 47) from the field with two three-pointers to Philomath’s 28.8 percent (15 of 52) with one three-pointer. The Cougars made 5 of 6 free throws and the Warriors made 2 of 5. But the statistic that jumped off the page for Randall was his team’s 38-34 edge in rebounding.

“We call ourselves the ‘tinys’ because we’re just 5-6, 5-8, 5-6, 5-2 … and our thing was, ‘Are we going to be able to rebound this year?’” Randall said. “To come to the state tournament and to go up against a big team like Philomath, we have to rebound tonight, and in big moments, I thought some of our kids came up with big ones.”

Howard, Philomath’s 5-10 junior, scored a team-high 12 points with four rebounds, and freshman post Reagan Heiken had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench. Junior guard Anneka Steen added nine points and five assists, and sophomore guard Emily Tunisia had seven rebounds and two steals for the Warriors, who finished with a 21-7 record.

No. 5 Klamath Union 54, No. 11 Marist Catholic 43

Senior guard Dianara Pena scored a game-high 19 points with four rebounds and five steals, pacing the Pelicans to victory over the Spartans of Eugene in Saturday’s fourth-place game.

Klamath Union center Keely Hall, another senior, added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Skyline Conference co-champions, who finished the season with a 19-4 record.

Marist Catholic, this season’s Sky Em League runner-up, finished 13-13.

Klamath Union erased an early seven-point deficit to take a 24-23 halftime lead. The Pelicans then outscored the Spartans 19-7 in the third quarter, taking a 43-30 on a Hall jumper with nine seconds to lay in the period.

In the fourth quarter, Klamath Union twice pushed the lead to as many as 15 points and maintained at least a seven-point cushion in the closing minutes.

Marist Catholic junior guard McKenna De Lee knocked down three three-pointers and finished with a team-high 15 points. Senior center Avia Tuguldur added eight points and six rebounds, and senior forward Addie Ruckwardt had six points and eight rebounds for the Spartans.