Shea Northfield's late 3-pointer is the difference for Lakeridge

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lakeridge's Natalie Bristol scoops to the hoop in the Pacers' game last week against Aloha.The Lakeridge girls basketball finished off the preseason in dramatic fashion Tuesday, edging Gresham on the road 42-41.

It was a close contest from start to finish with neither team able to gain much separation from the other.

Coach Kevin Berry said that the team's press, which it has been working hard on all year, was the key to the game.

“Defensively we put together a nice game and gave them some problems,” Berry said.

Gresham struggled against the pressure and was rarely comfortable on offense. The Pacers had an off and on night shooting and the Gophers held a slim advantage for much of the contest.

Heading into the fourth quarter, Gresham led by three points. Lakeridge then decided to go with a small line-up, running out four guards and a small forward and the strategy worked.

The quick line-up harassed Gresham on the perimeter and created more turnovers, which led to a few easy looks.

Gresham struggled to put the game away but still led by two points in the final minute.

With a little more than 30 seconds in regulation, Lakeridge swung the ball to Shea Northfield on offense and she drained a 3-pointer, giving her team the lead late.

“It was typical Lakeridge basketball, going for the 3-pointer instead of the two,” Berry said.

On the Gophers' next possession, Lakeridge played tight defense but was whistled for a foul. Gresham missed both attempts but got the ball back on the rebound.

A late shot attempt missed and the Pacers knocked the rebound away as time expired, allowing the visitors to hold on to the victory.

“Any win on the road is a good one no matter if it's by one point or a blowout,” Berry said.

Lakeridge will open up league play Friday against Oregon City, a team that traditionally features one of the best presses in the state.

“Obviously our press won't have the same success against a team like Oregon City but, as a result of working on it so much, I think our press break has gotten better,” Berry said.

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