Lakeridge searches for consistency as the TRL schedule looms

The Lakeridge girls basketball team has just two tune-up games left before it braces for the gauntlet of the Three Rivers League.

The Pacers haven't been at full strength for the past few weeks due to illnesses and players leaving on vacation but the team is looking to put it all together against Aloha and Gresham before starting TRL play against annual powerhouse Oregon City.

It's been an up and down non-league schedule for Lakeridge. The team has shown plenty of bright spots but some inconsistency has led to a 4-7 record.

“We haven't put together a complete game yet. We'll have a bad quarter or a bad half where we won't shoot well or the pressure on defense will lead to turnovers or a bad defensive quarter will give up an 8-0 run,” coach Kevin Berry said.

Most recently, the Pacers fell to Silverton 57-36. Lakeridge got off to a slow start and didn't have an answer early on for Silverton's press.

“They're super athletic and very aggressive on defense. They got into passing lanes and we didn't handle it well,” Berry said.

But Lakeridge regrouped at halftime and chipped away at the lead slightly in the third quarter. The Pacers would outscore Silverton in the second half but the lead was too big to overcome.

The game followed a 64-11 victory over a struggling Benson team.

Lakeridge was able to get its entire roster into the game and focused on some things that it will need to improve on as league starts.

“We need to get better at our press break and we need to defend in the half-court better and protect the basket as much as possible,” Berry said.

Lakeridge played stellar defense against the Techmen, holding them to just two points in the second quarter and shutting them out in the final period.

Lakeridge continues to ride the success of its outside shooting. Colleen Ellis has had the hot hand for the team recently, knocking down 14 points in a game against Hillsboro, 13 against Benson and nine against Silverton.

“She's got range up to about 20 feet and a quick release,” Berry said.

The Pacers will take on a pair of strong opponents Friday and next Tuesday before facing the Pioneers next Friday.

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