New coach Mike Pomerenke brings a fast-paced style to the court this winter

The Estacada girls basketball team hopes that the success from one court will carry over to another this winter.

The squad includes a handful of players from the volleyball team that made the 4A state playoffs in the fall. New coach Mike Pomerenke hopes some of that success will shift the attitude during basketball season.

“We need to get rid of that mentality of losing,” Pomerenke said. “We’re going to fight every game.”

The Rangers are coming off a 5-16 season that saw them tie Molalla for last place in the Tri-Valley League.

This year’s team has some size with juniors Tori Johnson and Natalie Stroup each standing 5-foot-11.

“Tori is a great leader and she knows how to get to the basket, while Natalie is a physical kid who can really rebound the ball,” Pomerenke said.

The squad has only two seniors in Emma Kirchhofer and Annie Shibahara, while Jessie Hunt and Emma Burke are also expected to contribute.

“We need to manufacture baskets,” Pomerenke said. “It’s not going to be easy. They’re going to have to buy into what we’re doing.”

The Rangers ranked last in scoring the Tri-Valley at less than 36 points per game last year. Pomerenke looks to build that number behind a fast-paced attack that emphasizes full-court pressure and fastbreaks — something he saw to well-executed in two seasons as an assistant coach at 6A powerhouse Oregon City.

“We’re going to be in your face and up tempo,” Pomerenke said. “It’s more fun for the girls to play, and it’s more exciting for the fans to watch.”

Estacada opens the season with nine straight road games, including tournaments at Country Christian and at Seaside. The Rangers will open on their home court Friday, Jan. 3, against Toledo.

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