Full day of great basketball matchups today in Loomis

By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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The Common Good Classic feast of basketball got underway with a bang on Friday night with wins by the first two Sierra Foothill League teams to hit the floor. Led by 28 points from Mike Moreno, Roseville baptized the event with a win over Bear River and then Granite Bay followed that up with a shooting and defensive show in knocking off highly ranked Yuba City. The hoops hysteria continues beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday when Nevada Union meets an extremely talented Bella Vista squad and then continues through the day and evening at Del Oro High School in Loomis. The Common Good Classic is attached to founder Brad Swope’s Roseville-based nonprofit ‘An Organization for the Common Good’ and the funds raised go to provide for the needs of the less fortunate in this community. His goal is to raise more than $20,000 this year. “This is a great way to support both local high school athletes in a great basketball event, but also support a cause that is important to all of us,” Swope said. “We are excited about this year’s expanded event that we are able to put on with help from these schools and our sponsors, Kaiser and SureWest.” Last year’s earnings went largely to build a play and shade structure for Homestart and this year’s proceeds are expected to be make up the entire budget for the non-profit organizer. Plans are to use the funds raised to fund a transitional house for former foster youth. “Studies show that kids who get out of foster homes are either incarcerated or homeless within two years,” Swope said. “Helping them make that transition is the focus of our organization.” The event features eight of the top 20 teams in the section and features some outstanding matchups. Nevada Union (11-6) and Bella Vista (13-3) tips things off late Saturday morning as the Miners’ Mark Kendall gets together with one of the area’s best teams. Oakmont (5-11) and Colfax (9-6) will follow, as the Vikings’ Tony Gill will finally have his full complement of teammates on hand as he goes to battle with Ethan Guiles and the Falcons. Two athletic and talented squads round out the afternoon schedule as 15-2 Woodcreek squares off with 7-7 Natomas. The Nighthawks are very long and like to run, while Woodcreek is much more guard-driven these days since the loss of their power forward to injury. The Timberwolves Nick Alongi, Nik Milani, Ryan Milat and Mike Kurtz will have their hands full with Natomas. The evening session kicks off with the once-beaten Del Oro girls team playing a very strong El Camino team. The Lady Eagles knocked El Camino out of the playoffs one year ago and both teams are back strong this year. The Del Oro boys (9-4) get a chance for revenge against the El Camino team (6-10) that knocked it out of the section playoffs last year on its way to a section title. El Camino is very talented, but rebuilding after losing a large portion of last year’s group to graduation. The nightcap features two of the state’s most outstanding athletes as Rocklin (15-2) center Brendan Lane and Mission of San Francisco (6-8) 5-foot-9 guard Demaree Hampton go head-to-head. While Mission’s record is not too impressive, it is impacted by a rough schedule and the team is one of the best in the San Francisco section. Ticket prices for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Kids 12-and-under are admitted free. Today’s schedule: 11:30 a.m. Nevada Union vs. Bella Vista 1 p.m. Oakmont vs. Colfax 2:30 p.m. Woodcreek vs. Natomas 4:30 p.m. Del Oro vs. El Camino (girls) 6 p.m. Del Oro vs. El Camino 7:30 p.m. Rocklin vs. Mission High (San Francisco)