McKenzie Alton was the first Bellarmine Prep player to ascend the orange ladder to cut down the net.
She also happened to be the player who found the bottom of that net the most times Friday night.
Alton scored a game-high 21 points as Bellarmine edged Olympia, 61-60, at home to clinch its third consecutive Class 4A Narrows title.
“It’s a testament to our kids that they were able to keep focus against a pretty good team,” Bellarmine coach Kevin Meines said. “They really wanted to cut down the nets on their home court.”
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But the Bears didn’t make it easy.
Olympia shot 25 of 39 (64.1 percent) from the floor — 7 of 9 from 3-point range — to keep Bellarmine within reach.
Jenna Randich led the Bears with 18 points, while Averie Stock and Lilly Anne Landers added 10 apiece.
“I thought we traded baskets there for a while from the third quarter on,” Olympia coach Jackie Robinson said. “We’d make a big shot, they’d make one. … Neither team could put the other one away.”
Alton sunk the front end of a 1-and-1 with 51.5 seconds to play to give Bellarmine its final one-point advantage.
“Close games are always exciting and fun, but I knew we’d pull through and I knew my teammates could do it,” Alton said.
Bellarmine and Olympia exchanged leads nine times — including six within the first two-and-a-half minutes of the fourth quarter.
Jenny Hagle — who scored nine, all from beyond the perimeter — buried a 3-pointer with 5:26 to play to give Bellarmine a lead Olympia wouldn’t take back.
Neither team ever led by more than six points.
“For us, it’s about getting better, and we did,” Robinson said. “They beat us by 12 last time. Tonight, it took one to get us, and we had a shot to win at the end.”
Both sides consistently battled through full-court press, oftentimes resulting in held balls — the game had 10 total.
“We were constantly reminding them to let the game come to them,” Meines said.
Eventually, it did.
Olympia (10-8, 6-4) will likely battle Gig Harbor for the league’s No. 2 seed into the West Central District tournament, while Bellarmine (12-6, 10-0) locks up No. 1.
Two more league wins for Bellarmine will record its third consecutive undefeated 4A Narrows season.