by: MATTHEW SHERMAN Kevin Berry, who has had coaching stints at LaSalle, Jesuit and Mt. Hood Community College, was recently named the new head coach for the Lakeridge girls basketball team. He hopes to implement a fast-paced style of play to the Pacers and utilize his team’s athleticism.

The Lakeridge girls basketball program has a new leader. Kevin Berry was recently introduced as the Pacers' head coach, taking over from Katy Wilson.

Berry has experience coaching both boys and girls basketball at the high school and collegiate level.

He was a standout player at LaSalle High School in Milwaukie and would later serve as an assistant coach at the school.

He would also assist at Mt. Hood Community College and was the JV coach and an assist for Jesuit's girls basketball team before returning to LaSalle to helm its boys basketball team for the past two seasons.

But Berry is happy to be back with a girls program and excited about the challenges he will face at this level.

"I really enjoyed my time at Jesuit and at the community college. It's not every day that a 6A head coaching job opens up and I think this is a great opportunity to build up a program," Berry said.

Berry grew up in the Clackamas area and has been well-versed in Three Rivers League basketball for virtually his entire life.

"It's arguably the best league in the state and that's a challenge. But you can only get better going up against that competition," Berry said.

Berry led LaSalle to the playoffs last year and is excited about the group of players he has returning at Lakeridge.

"I've met most of them and they were very accepting. We have some good athletes and some good scorers," Berry said.

Berry was also impressed with the facilities that Lakeridge has to offer.

"That was the first thing that really hit me. To see the gym and the locker rooms, it's pretty amazing. It's so nice to have that because it allows you to get things done efficiently," Berry said.

While the new coach is still getting accustomed to his new surroundings and his new players, he is confident that his coaching style will mesh well with the Pacers.

"I've always been able to adjust to the situation pretty well. I'm well-versed in most styles of play," Berry said.

But the coach admitted that, with the athletes at his disposal, he is looking forward to utilizing that team speed.

"We'll push the pace to a different level that a lot of people haven't seen before. We'll run and gun and shoot a lot of threes and get a lot of girls into the game. I'm always seeking any advantage I can get," Berry said.

To accommodate that style of play, Berry will also look to increase the overall numbers of the program, getting some of Lakeridge's many talented athletes to come out for basketball.

"There are a lot of girls in the hall who are standouts in lacrosse or soccer or volleyball who should be playing basketball too. I also want to develop the youth program," Berry said.

Berry takes over a Lakeridge program that was 8-17 last year and tied for fifth in the league.

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