Stacy Takayama, Golden West freshman, picked a good time and place to end her self-imposed retirement from basketball.
She quit the game after high school for a year, but has returned this season to be the starting point guard on the Golden West basketball team.
The Rustlers (32-1), South Coast Conference champions, have won 16 straight games. Golden West plays Sacramento City (21-12) in the first round of the state tournament tonight at 8 at Cypress College.
Takayama led the South Coast Conference in assists, averaging 8.0 a game. She also averaged 6.1 points and 3 steals, and was voted first-team all-conference with teammates April Marion and Jeannine Battaglia.
Takayama was a three-season varsity starter at La Quinta High School and was voted All-Southern Section as a junior and senior. La Quinta reached the Southern Section 2-A championship game her senior season but lost to San Luis Obispo, 47-45.
After the end of her senior season, she decided that she was through with basketball.
"Right after the North-South all-star game, everyone was asking me what I was going to do," Takayama said. "I just thought maybe it was time to concentrate on my studies. I already played plenty of basketball in my life."
Takayama went to Cal State Fullerton for a year. But last winter, she went to a Golden West-Orange Coast game and realized that she could play on the community college level.
She wasn't sure if she wanted to return, but she started talking with Dave Stricklin, Golden West assistant coach. In late August, she decided that she missed basketball enough to start again.
"I needed a break," said Takayama, who started playing basketball when she was 7. "I was just burnt out after high school, I guess. . . . I really want to play now. There is no more burnt-out syndrome for me. I'll be here next year and I really hope I get to play somewhere after that."
The women's state tournament starts today at 2 at Cypress with College of the Sequoias (32-0), the No. 1-seeded team from the north, playing No. 4-seeded Los Angeles Trade Tech (26-3) from the south.
Riverside (22-7), the No. 2-seeded team from the south, plays American River (22-9), the north's No. 3-seeded team at 6 p.m., and Golden West, the south's top-seeded team, plays Sacramento City, the north's No. 4-seeded team, at 8.
The semifinals are Friday at 6 and 8 p.m., and the final is Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Community College Notes
Cerritos remained the No. 1-ranked team in the second Southern California baseball poll. Orange Coast is second, Los Angeles Harbor third, Mt. San Antonio fourth, Rancho Santiago and El Camino are tied for fifth, Cypress seventh, College of the Canyons and Golden West are tied for eighth and Citrus is 10th. . . . Two freshman women's basketball players set single-season school records for Cypress (30-10), which was eliminated from the state playoffs by Golden West, 113-78, Saturday. Forward Pam Fritsch had 322 rebounds (11.9 average) and guard Stacy Yokota had 236 assists (7.9).