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Pacer girls will look to get out and run

An experienced and deep Lakeridge team will rely on its strong shooters


by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Natalie Bristol led Lakeridge with 19 points in an early win over Madison and is the team's starting point gard this year. Entering the third year under coach Kevin Berry's system, the Lakeridge girls basketball team continues to make strides. This year, Berry has his most experienced squad, featuring eight seniors and it may be the deepest team the Pacers have featured in a few years.

Lakeridge will feature a similar look this season with a team that consists primarily of guards.

“We certainly didn't get any bigger,” Berry said.

But the Pacers will run at opponents in waves, getting up and down the floor quickly and won't hesitate if they get an open 3-point look.

“We don't really have any true post players but I think we can be really versatile,” Berry said.

Lakeridge has speed and athleticism and hopes to be an improved shooting team this season.

In its season-opening victory against Madison, Lakeridge put up 42 shots from beyond the arc.

“We're definitely still in that mode and I think we should be a pretty good shooting team this year,” Berry said.

Sophomore Natalie Bristol will be the Pacers' starting point guard and she led the way last week with 19 points.

“She can score from anywhere and we're definitely expecting a big year from her,” Berry said.

Hope Daskalos also returns as a four-year varsity player. Daskalos is a leader on and off the court for the Pacers and will be called on to do much of the dirty work for Lakeridge this year.

“Hope is kind of a post for us by necessity but she can bring the ball up the court and shoot the three,” Berry said.

Senior Susan Irving also provides toughness and leadership for the Pacers.

Colleen Ellis also returns and figures to be one of the top outside shooters in the league this season.

Shequina Boe is also back and figures to be one of the team's most versatile players.

“She's only 5'6” but she's one of our best rebounders,” Berry said.

Lakeridge figures to get the majority of its roster significant playing time this season and Berry has been pleased with how prepared the squad was heading into the year.

“Nothing is new to this team. It's a great senior class and there's not a lot of drop-off throughout the roster,” Berry said.

While the Pacers will be a team that likes to get up the court quickly, it has been making a concerted effort to beef up its half-court defense as well.

“We're definitely a full-court team but we've put in a ton of time on our half-court defense and our presses,” Berry said.

On Tuesday, Lakeridge fell to 1-1 on the year, dropping a tough overtime game against Roosevelt and the team will travel to Evergreen, Wash., this Friday.



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