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Loomis Sports Chatter

By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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Del Oro girls basketball coach Mike Takayama has been at the reins of the Lady Eagles’ hoop program long enough to tell you that one game — and for that matter two — doesn’t make a season. So after two tough losses last week — including a 44-42 decision to Nevada Union on Friday which snapped the Lady Eagles’ 63-game Sierra Foothill League win streak — Takayama wasn’t thinking about jumping off the Clark Road Tunnel. “Actually there were a lot of sympathetic people, offering to take me to dinner and whatever after the NU game,” said Takayama. “But my only frustration about the loss was that we had opportunities to win the game and we didn’t capitalize on them.” Following the setback to Nevada Union at home on Friday, the Lady Eagles motored to Stockton on Saturday and took on Div. I power Lincoln for the second time this season. Despite another gutsy effort, the host Trojans — whose lone losses this season are to Nor Cal powers Carondelet, St. Mary’s of Stockton and Berkeley — needed a put back with 14 seconds to play by Devon Pollard to pullout a 44-43 win. “We had a four-point lead at Lincoln, but didn’t finish them off,” said Takayama. “That’s one of the goals of this team in the second half is to close the deal and start putting these close ones in the ‘W’ column.” Speaking of the second half, the final round of SFL games begins tonight when the Lady Eagles entertain an improving Rocklin club at 7 p.m. Takayama feels it is just one of several key games that his team will face this month. “We have some teams in our league that with the playoffs being near will be playing like wounded bears,” said the Del Oro coach. “Every game will be important.” Takayama is hoping that his Lady Eagles can get untracked to make a season-closing game against Nevada Union in Grass Valley on Feb. 16 a contest that will mean something. “Every year our No.1 priority is to win the league championship,” said Takayama. “The girls’ effort and sweat equity has been there all season long. Now we just need to find a way to finish strong.” Showcase Loses Star The former Battle at the Capital football showcase is now named the Battle for Veterans and will take place over two weekends to kickoff the 2012 prep season. Del Oro again will be host for the first round of games during Week Zer0 – Aug. 24 and 25. The two-time reigning Sac-Joaquin Section Division III-champion Golden Eagles (13-2 this season) will play Westlake Village-Oaks Christian (11-3) on Aug. 24. On Aug. 25, Division I section champ Granite Bay (12-2) will play Westlake; Franklin (8-4) of Elk Grove will face Thousand Oaks (8-5); and youth football teams from Roseville and Granite Bay will play. The Labor Day weekend calendar, to be hosted in Ventura County by Westlake, includes Division III section runner-up Oakdale (13-1) against Oceanside (9-3-1) and Del Oro vs. Westlake on Aug. 31. Del Oro lost to La Mesa-Helix 35-24, in the Division II State Bowl Game, and Westlake (14-1) lost to Concord-De La Salle 35-0, in the Open Division game. One player that Westlake won’t have this season is standout quarterback Justin Moore. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior became the starting quarterback at Westlake last fall, and helped spark a fine season. Westlake finished 14-1, won both the Northern Division and Marmonte League championships, and played in a state bowl championship game for the first time in program history. Last season, Moore threw for 2,483 yards, 27 touchdowns and just six interceptions, while completing 63 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 1,099 yards and 13 touchdowns. Two weeks ago, Moore transferred from Westlake to Royal High in Simi Valley and said that he has given up playing sports.