Ione-Arlington to face Echo in Championship game on Saturday
ARLINGTON – Momentum changed sides like a pendulum but the Ione-Arlington Lady Cardinals caught the final wave and survived a late run from the S. Wasco Redsides to win 42-41 on Thursday night.
With S. Wasco leading by one-point with 35 seconds to play, the Lady Cardinals had a final opportunity and capitalized when Haylie Peterson fed Grace Claughton for the go-ahead bucket.
It is the fourth game of the season that Ione-Arlington has won by one point on a final possession.
Coach Nathan Heideman said after the game that these last minute wins are pushing his budget for hair dye.
“I asked our team at the beginning of the season: Why is the lion the king of the jungle,” Coach Heideman said. He continued, “It’s the mentality. The lion isn’t the biggest, the fastest, the strongest or the smartest. It’s the mentality. You have to have the mentality of a winner. This is their win tonight, they took care of business.”
With the three-point shot not falling for the Cardinals, Coach Heideman told his team to find better shots but to stay aggressive. The Cardinals did just that, working the ball inside and taking high percentage shots.
Both teams pressured the ball for most of the game, causing turnovers on each end.
It was an exciting game with a full gymnasium and engaged fan base from both schools.
The Cardinals will face Echo in the District Championship on Saturday. The location is still yet to be determined.