Going out with a bang:

The Trail Blazers play eight of their remaining games in 2012 at home. It’s a chance for Portland to reach 2013 at .500 or better after 29 games.

The key is taking care of business against the lesser teams in that stretch (three games with Sacramento and one each against Toronto, Phoenix and New Orleans).

The Winterhawks also have 10 games left in 2012, five at home. All the games are against U.S. Division rivals, including three with Seattle, the club that reportedly instigated the Western Hockey League’s investigation of the Hawks — and ultimate heavy penalties to the franchise — by pointing out something in the contract of Seth Swenson, who was traded to the Thunderbirds in January 2012.

Cautiously optimistic talks continue on a new contract that would keep the Safeway Classic as part of the LPGA circuit. On Wednesday, Tournament Golf Foundation and the Safeway Foundation donated $1 million in proceeds from the 2012 tournament at Pumpkin Ridge to local children’s charities. The 2013 LPGA schedule should be firmed up later this month.

Central Catholic junior Kyle Thompson turned in an impressive 17th-place finish in the 202-man Nike Cross Nationals cross-country championships last week at Portland Meadows. Eleven of the runners ahead of him were seniors.

Former PSU basketball star Chehales Tapscott, a 6-5 forward, has totaled 52 points and 21 rebounds in two games with AS Soleuvre in Luxembourg’s Diekirch League.

Happy birthday

Dec. 7, 1946 — Mike Clopton (age 66)

Dec. 10, 1950 — Lloyd Neal (age 62)

Dec. 11, 1955 — Stu Jackson (age 57)

Dec. 9, 1957 — Michael Harper (age 55)

Dec. 11, 1967 — Katy Steding (age 45)

Dec. 12, 1986 — T.J. Ward (age 26)

Oregon sports history

Dec. 12, 1987 — Portland State plays for the NCAA Division II football championship, losing 31-10 to Troy State at Florence, Ala. The Vikings finish with a school-record 11 wins, along with two losses and one tie.

Dec. 10, 1988 — PSU returns to the D-II title game at Florence, Ala, and falls to North Dakota State 35-21. The Vikings match their school mark for wins, going 11-3-1 under coach Pokey Allen. Team leaders the past two years include quarterback Chris Crawford and running back Curtis Delgardo. Both years, the Viks beat Montana, Cal Poly and Southern Utah, among others.

Dec. 7, 1992 — Portland State’s volleyball team, coached by Jeff Mozzochi, defeats Northern Michigan 13-15, 15-12, 13-15, 15-8, 15-10 to capture its fourth NCAA Division II national championship in nine years. A crowd of more than 1,500 in the PSU gym watch the finale, as the Vikings end the season 36-1 and with 28 consecutive wins.

Tweet of the week

Huge win for us tonight. Couldn’t thank the fans enough for that incredible standing o’ for Mike Johnston. #AdversityHawks #wedontstop

Nic Petan “@petan19

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