Colfax, Del Oro split twinbill

Prep teams hit hardwood for Foundation Games
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
-A +A
COLFAX — For Belle Obert and her Del Oro High teammates, Monday night’s Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation Game was a chance to feel nervous before the calendar even turned to the official kickoff month of the prep basketball season. Obert scored a game-high 18 points and had 10 rebounds as the Golden Eagles routed Colfax 54-30 in the first game of a well-attended doubleheader. The games, which benefit the section’s scholarship fund, have a midseason atmosphere even though they don’t affect teams in the win-loss column. “Even the scrimmages don’t have that real feel to it, so it’s kind of the first time to get out with officials and have actual nerves,” said Mike Takayama, Del Oro’s veteran head coach. “I think in scrimmages there are hardly any nerves because it definitely doesn’t mean anything. Even though this doesn’t go on your win-loss record, it feels like the real thing and people are still battling for position. We get to see the girls in a real game environment.” Both teams had trouble maintaining possession in the opening minutes. Becky Duncan’s layup off an Obert steal with 3:16 left in the first quarter put the Eagles on top for good, 10-9, after the Falcons had scored the game’s first three points. Obert added a three-point play later in the first, part of a 16-5 run that helped Del Oro pull away. “I didn’t have 10 kids in the gymnasium all last week during vacation,” said Colfax head coach Dave Campbell. “It’s been really hard. In order to run our offensive sets you’ve got to have 5-on-5, and we haven’t had that opportunity. It showed tonight. We scrambled around trying to get in our sets. It’s lack of gym time. I like my team. We should be fine, but the bottom line is we have to get in the gymnasium and work hard.” Madeline Campbell scored 10 for the Eagles, while freshman Brianna Ruiz added seven points. Michelle Walker finished with nine points and six rebounds to lead Colfax. April Littlejohn added five points for the Falcons, who were a dismal 9-for-25 from the free throw line. Del Oro officially kicks things off this weekend at the Sonora Kiwanis Tournament, which it has won four years in a row. Colfax dropped its season-opener to Roseville Saturday 48-41. The Falcons open at Rio Americano on Dec. 17. In Monday’s late foundation game, the Colfax boys took advantage of a Del Oro squad short four of its starters to beat the Eagles 80-59. Ryan Salmonson scored a game-high 23 and Justin Witt added 18 points for the Falcons, who led 37-36 at halftime before exploding in the second half. Aaron Hendricks, Del Oro’s lone starter, scored 16, as did sophomore Jordan Broyles. The Eagles will be without Spencer Butterfield, Jon Root and Nico Ruiz for at least another week while they continue their ride through the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II football playoffs. Remi Barry, a hot-shooting senior small forward from France by way of Florida, is expected to make his highly anticipated debut when Del Oro opens its schedule in Placerville next Monday against El Dorado. Completing Barry’s transfer paperwork has been a tedious process over the last several weeks. The Colfax boys will host Nevada Union in their season-opener tonight at 7. In Roseville, Michael Jensen scored 13 and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Placer past Roseville 59-30. James Taber had 10 points and seven rebounds while Darren Centi and Conrad Harder finished with eight and nine points, respectively. The Hillmen will play in the Harlan Carter Tournament in Redding this weekend. Placer fell in the girls game, 49-45, in a back-and-forth contest from start to finish. Nikki Johnson scored 13 for the Hillgals and Kayla Reeves chipped in with 12 points. Placer hosts Casa Roble tonight. In Garden Valley, Foresthill beat Golden Sierra 41-28 in girls action. Sadie Stroup had 10 points and seven rebounds to lead the Wildfires, while Jessie Anderson added seven points and six steals and Trysta Ferguson finished with seven points and four steals. Foresthill travels to Yuba City Thursday to take part in a tournament at Faith Christian.