Kevin Meines’ shouts don’t hit the decibels like they did in his prime, but he can certainly bring it in spurts.
“You scream at me again, I’m going to give you a technical,” one of the referees yelled at the Bellarmine Prep girls basketball coach in the first quarter.
Sure enough, with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Meines got a technical foul.
Most of his shouts were directed toward his own team. No. 5 Bellarmine Prep started slow, then outscored Kentridge 12-0 the first five minutes of the second quarter, grinding out a 73-53 victory on Friday in the 4A West Central District 3 quarterfinals at Mount Tahoma High School.
“Coach … he is a very in-the-moment kind of person,” said senior guard Jayana Ervin, who scored 11 points. “But after you give him a minute to compose, he’s good.”
Sure, the Lions (21-1) looked a little sloppy at times, but they still left with a 20-point win, their 13th consecutive victory and a guaranteed regional berth at the state tournament. They face Curtis in the district semifinals at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at Puyallup High School.
“It wasn’t our best game,” Meines said. “But we were able to battle through it. We tell the kids that that’s what championship teams do. You have to win the games even when you have to gut it out.”
Bellarmine Prep made 8 of 22 shots (36 percent) in the first quarter and held a 19-13 lead. The Lions pushed that lead to 37-20 late in the second behind freshman Shalyse Smith’s eight first-half points. Smith, who at 6-foot looks and plays more like a college freshman, scored a team-high 17 points.
But Kentridge (16-6) behind Alicia Dugan, who scored a game-high 23 points, cut its deficit to 37-27 at halftime.
All the while, Meines’ shouts were loud and clear along the Bellarmine Prep bench.
“Why is nobody moving their feet!?”
“Look at the other side! Look at the corner.”
“Where’s our rotation on that!”
“I’m an emotional guy,” Meines said. “Most of the referees know me so they take it with a grain of salt. But every once in a while, I still got a loud voice.
“I’m not as fire and brimstone as I used to be, though. I’m an old man, now.”
Bellarmine Prep went on another run, this one a 13-2 spurt, to start the third quarter. Smith and Ervin bulled their way to the basket at will, and McKenzie Alton scored 12 of her 16 points in the quarter.
“They are a good team — big, athletic and they do a lot of stuff well,” Chargers coach Bob Sandall said. “But we handled a lot of their challenges. I was proud of how we hung in there.”
Kentridge will face Tahoma at 2:45 p.m. Monday at Stadium High School and can still earn a regional berth with wins in its next two games.
“There’s a lot to be pleased with tonight,” Sandall said. “Just not the final score.”
They used a 19-11 run in the third quarter to jump into the lead and hold on despite only scoring six points in the fourth to earn a regional berth. Curtis hopes to enter the state tournament for the fourth time in school history.
“It’s been a lot of hard work getting this,” sophomore guard Peightyn Perrien said. “A lot of sweat, blood and tears.”
Curtis’ sophomore Kaelin Williams-Kennedy, led the team with 13 points — eight in the third quarter. But her defensive presence was just as important, getting steals and creating that chaos that the Vikings thrived on.
“We just needed to start playing as a team,” said 5-foot-3 freshman guard Jalaiya Frederick, who scored 10 points. “And we were very big on defense.”
Curtis advances to the district semifinals to face Bellarmine Prep. South Kitsap plays Timberline at 1 p.m. Monday at Stadium.
Quinessa Caylao-Do had 10 points and seven steals for Beamer, which advances to face Kentlake in the district semifinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Puyallup.
Gig Harbor (15-10) plays Bethel at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Stadium.