Big Green Win

The South Wasco County Redsides boys basketball team celebrates with fans after defeating Echo Friday night in The Dalles. The No. 3-ranked and undefeated Redsides captured the Class 1A Big Sky League District Championship with a 42-40 boys basketball win over Ione/Arlington on Saturday night at The Dalles High School’s Kurtz Gym.

The No. 3-ranked and undefeated South Wasco County High Redsides captured the Class 1A Big Sky League District Championship with a 42-40 boys basketball win over Ione/Arlington on Saturday night at The Dalles High School’s Kurtz Gym.

The league title was the school’s first since 2006.

South Wasco earned the Big Sky No. 1 seed in the 24-team 1A state playoffs beginning Feb. 22. The Redsides earned a first-round bye, and they’ll play a Feb. 25 second-round, home game against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. Winners of Feb. 25 games advance to the OSAA 1A state tournament March 2-5 in Baker City.

“We’re just thrilled to win, and these are special times, and we just appreciate this opportunity,” SWC Coach Jim Hull said. “I just don’t have enough to say about our heart. That was the toughest game we’ve played all year. When the time came to do what we had to do, Oscar (Thomas) made some huge plays and Brock (LaFaver) had some huge rebounds. Our goal all year has been to make sure that the game that decides who goes to Baker would go through Maupin. We talked about that before the game and today we did it. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The Big Sky West Division No. 1 seeded Redsides (10-0 league, 22-0 overall) led 14-9 after the first quarter. The Big Sky East Division No. 1-seeded Cardinals (9-0 league, 19-1) trimmed the margin to 19-17 at halftime.

Thomas, a senior and the Big Sky West player of the year, helped lead the Redsides to the victory with a game-high 21 points, and senior post Brock LaFaver scored 10. Thomas had back-to-back steals on Ione inbound plays, and he drove in for layups both times to help the Redsides build a 41-34 lead with 1:25 left in the contest.

Senior guard Remington Anderson-Sheer sank a free throw with eight seconds left putting the Redsides up 42-37. Ione then made a three-point field goal, trimming the margin to 42-40 with one second left.