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Pacer coach plans to run and gun

La Salle's Berry takes the helm at Lakeridge

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 Prep and was the head boys coach at the school the past two seasons.

Berry also assisted at Mt. Hood Community College and in Jesuit's girls program, before returning to coach at LaSalle.

Berry says he is happy to be back with a girls program and excited about the challenges he will face at the Class 6A 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,' Berry said. 'But you can only get better going up against that competition.'

Berry, who led LaSalle to the playoffs last year, says he is excited about the group of players Lakeridge has returning to its girls program.

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

Berry said he was 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.

Berry said that, with the athletes at his disposal, he is looking forward to utilizing 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.'

To accommodate that style of play, Berry will also look to increase the overall numbers in the program, getting more 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,' Berry said.

'I also want to develop the youth program,' he added.

Berry takes over a Lakeridge program that was 8-17 overall last year and tied for fifth in the six-team Three Rivers League.

Curtiss left La Salle's boys basketball program in good shape. Last year's jayvee team went 11-1 in the Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference and 22-1 overall; and last year's La Salle Prep freshmen team went 12-0 in league and 20-1 overall. La Salle's varsity went 13-12, falling to Tillamook in the first round of postseason play.