Courtney Bird, a sharp-shooting guard is one of the key returners for the Lakeridge girls basketball team.

With a new coach and a new system, the Lakeridge girls basketball program has high hopes for this season and for the future as well.

Katy Wilson was hired over the summer to take over the Pacers and, after weighing a number of opportunities, is very pleased with where she ended up.

'I am 100% happy. I love it here and the girls are really working hard,' said Wilson who was the JV coach and an assistant on the varsity team at Jesuit last year.

Wilson has been preaching hard work over everything else since taking over the team and she has also implemented an up-tempo, fast-paced style.

Lakeridge has a strong core of returning players and some talented youth on a team that is eyeing a return to the postseason.

Lexi Ross returns at post for the Pacers. The stand-out volleyball star brings height, strength and athleticism to the team. Last year she was one of the best rebounders in the league and she hopes to improve her offense this season.

Courtney Bird is back at guard and is one of the team's best outside shooters. She will be joined on the back line by point guard Emma Dungy.

Also returning is Kayla Glanville, perhaps the team's most versatile player.

'She can fit in anywhere. She can be a swing or take the ball down the floor but she plays big,' Wilson said.

Glanville is expected to be one of the team's best rebounders and also has a quick move to the basket.

Wilson figures her team will be very balanced with a good combination of both size and speed. Also contributing at the guard positions will be Megan Jordan and freshman Kyleigh Young.

'We're definitely balanced and I'm really happy with our bench too,' Wilson said.

The team picked up a win its first game of the year on Tuesday. Lakeridge knocked off Lincoln 57-39.

Glanville led the effort with 19 points while Ross added 12, Bird tossed in eight and Dungy had six.

Lakeridge will be tested on Friday in a game against Jefferson and will also take on Grant, Parkrose and Wilson before competing in the Laker Shoot-out over the Christmas Break.

In the Three Rivers League this year, Oregon City boasts another loaded team but Wilson expects the Pacers to be a key player in the race for second place.

'I've seen the talent we have. It will definitely be a battle for those next positions it all depends on what the girls want to do,' Wilson said.

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