Henley senior point guard Annie Campos was the Skyline Conference player of the year last season. (Photo by Aaron Bocchi)
Henley senior point guard Annie Campos was the Skyline Conference player of the year last season. (Photo by Aaron Bocchi)

Last season, Henley's girls basketball team relied heavily on point guard Annie Campos to make it to the 4A tournament.

This season, with the Hornets providing more support for Campos, they are looking like a threat to win their first state title since 2012. Henley is off to a 7-0 start and is ranked No. 1 in the OSAAtoday 4A coaches poll.

“Now that we have more weapons offensively, and more talent one through nine, Annie doesn't have to do everything, which is nice,” coach Randy Denson said. “We can use her more defensively and get her some rest.”

Campos, a 5-8 senior point guard, is averaging 16.0 points, 7.0 assists and 7.0 rebounds. The numbers are similar to last season, when she averaged 16.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists in being named the Skyline Conference player of the year and making the 4A first team.

Anna Harper, a 5-9 junior center who made the Skyline first team last season, is putting up 16.4 points and 11.1 rebounds. Sophomore guard Senia Campos, Annie's sister, is averaging 9.5 points.

“We have a lot of options scoring,” Denson said. “We've been having three, four, five kids in double figures every night. Annie will get her points when it matters. At times, I do think it's a bit of an adjustment for her. In the past, we've asked her to do a lot. Last year, she had eight or nine triple-doubles.”

Annie Campos showed her versatility in the state tournament, where she accounted for more than one-third of the team's points. In three games, she had 62 points, 25 rebounds and 23 assists for the Hornets, who were eliminated in the quarterfinals with a 57-48 loss to Marshfield.

Annie Campos, Harper, senior forward Jewell Northcutt and senior guard Mya Mauch were starters in the state tournament. All are back, along with three players who contributed as freshmen last season in Senia Campos, wing Lily Fussell and guard Kennedi Modin.

“Last year was about getting to the tournament and getting that experience,” Denson said. “When we got to that quarterfinal, I thought it was a pretty big stage for us, which was awesome to be in. This year our goal is to get to the next round.”

The reigning Skyline champion Hornets are winning by an average margin of 26.4 points. Their closest game so far is a 65-53 home win over 5A Redmond, a game in which Harper had 15 points and 19 rebounds.

Henley is leading 4A in scoring at 69.3 points per game, up from 56.8 last season.

“Part of our philosophy offensively is to try to run and gun and pressure, and try to get as many possessions as we can,” Denson said. “Seven games in, we're doing a pretty good job of that.”

Denson said the team gained valuable experience in the summer by playing 35 games together. The players also were committed to offseason training and weightlifting.

“They've developed physically and in their game,” Denson said. “They're all bought in, and they're kind of seeing the success of being bought in.”

Henley has not played a team currently ranked in the top 10 in the coaches polls. The Hornets will get tested Dec. 28-30 in the Sisters Tournament, where they will face 3A No. 8 Banks and 4A No. 6 Madras. They will meet 4A No. 3 Cascade on Jan. 27 at Hidden Valley.

“We'll see when we play Madras, Banks and Cascade, those kind of games,” Denson said.

As for the No. 1 ranking, Denson said his players “don't think about it too much.” At this stage, the Hornets are just trying to build chemistry and momentum.

“We don't really come out and say we want to win a state championship,” Denson said. “I think we all know what that goal is. But really I just want to let those little wins stack up.”

Denson, an administrator at Mazama, is in his fourth season as Henley's coach after a two-year stint as the coach at 1A Lost River. A Klamath Union graduate, he is the brother of former Crater standout Amy Denson, who played at Arizona State.

Panthers push California power

No. 4 South Medford threw a scare into one of California's top teams Wednesday.

The Panthers (2-2) drew within three points of Sage Hill in the fourth quarter before falling 68-57 in a game at Newport Beach, Calif. Sage Hill is ranked No. 4 in California by the Los Angeles Times.

Sophomore guard Taylor Young and senior center Kim Ceron-Romero scored 18 and 15 points, respectively, for South Medford. Sophomore post Mayan Akpan added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Akpan scored to make it a three-point game midway through the fourth quarter, but the Panthers were unable to overtake Sage Hill, which was nationally ranked to start the season.

“We were just not very poised in those last four minutes,” Panthers coach Tom Cole told the Rogue Valley Times.

On Tuesday, South Medford defeated Orangewood Academy 62-58 at Garden Grove, Calif.

Cards surge past Astoria

Corbett, ranked No. 1 in 3A, came back late for a 44-43 win at 4A No. 2 Astoria on Friday, the Cardinals' second narrow win over the Fishermen this season.

Astoria took a 16-4 lead in the first quarter and was up 43-38 before Corbett rallied. Junior Lilly Schimel hit a three-pointer to make it 43-41 with 2:07 left, and senior Ella Holwege came up with a steal and three-pointer to put the Cardinals up 44-43 with 1:32 remaining.

Senior Ally Schimel led Corbett with 16 points and six steals. Lilly Schimel and Holwege added 15 and 13 points, respectively, for the Cardinals.

Corbett, which also defeated Astoria 51-49 in a tournament at Madras on Dec. 2, improved to 5-0. Astoria fell to 1-2.

5A showdown goes to OT

Senior Danaeja Romero-Ah Sam scored 19 points, making three three-pointers, and had nine steals and two assists as No. 1 Springfield won 47-42 in overtime at No. 5 Silverton in a 5A showdown Saturday.

Junior Diamond Wright had 10 points and eight rebounds for reigning 5A champion Springfield (3-0), which extended its winning streak to 13.

The Millers led 38-24 early in the fourth quarter before Silverton came back behind senior Kyleigh Brown, who finished with 27 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Brown scored 11 points during a 14-0 run that forced overtime.

Capitol City Classic

Several top-10 teams will play in the Capitol City Classic tournament Dec. 16-20 at Corban University in Salem.

The tournament is split into two eight-team brackets.

The top bracket includes two 6A contenders in No. 2 Benson and No. 4 South Medford. The first round features a game between 5A No. 5 Silverton and 5A No. 9 Wilsonville.

In the lower bracket, 5A co-No. 3 Putnam will play 4A No. 3 Cascade in the first round.