Maybe it was a matter of comparative rest.
Bellarmine Prep went its entire holiday break without playing a girls basketball game. On the other hand, Olympia traveled 670 miles round trip to a three-game tournament in Spokane last weekend.
In the end, the Lions scored twice as many points in the second half as they did in the first, and pulled away from the host Bears, 54-31, on Thursday night at Olympia High School.
Bellarmine (8-2) remains unbeaten in the Class 4A SPSL play, with seven consecutive wins. Olympia (4-6) is now three-and-a-half games back in the standings.
Fueled by four 3-point baskets each, Makiah Reed, with 16 points, and Callie Stevens, with 14, led the way for Bellarmine, while Reyelle Frazier kept pressure on the Bears’ defense with strong drives to the basket, and finished with 13.
“Each one of them with the ball in their hands does something magical,” Lions coach Kim West said.
“Our good shooters open up a lot, the defense doesn’t know if its going to be a drive or a shot,” Frazier said.
After Stevens made 3-pointers for the game’s first two baskets and a 6-0 Bellarmine lead, the game became fairly even, as both teams’ defenses disrupted the other’s offense. The Lions led just 12-9 after a quarter, and 18-14 at halftime. Each team scored just a single field goal during the second quarter.
West thought that might have been the down side of an unusual two-week vacation. Bellarmine has typically played over the December holiday break in years past.
“It’s always tough to get going offensively after a nice, long break,” she said. “Especially against a team like Olympia. They threw a lot at us defensively. They had an awesome zone, then they threw a box-and-one or a triangle-and-two at us. It’s hard to read.”
Frazier said she and her teammates regrouped during intermission.
“We knew we were lacking, and that Olympia’s a great team. We had that talk at halftime. Everyone picked each other up,” she said.
The action picked up in the third, the highest scoring quarter for both teams, with Bellarmine outscoring the Bears, 20-12. Olympia was within seven at 24-17 with just under six minutes to go in the third, when Reed went to work.
She hit three 3-pointers and a floater down the lane, enabling the Lions to go up by 12 heading into the final period.
“We play a high tempo game, but in the first half we were frantic,” West said. “We were running and gunning, but not reading what the defense was giving us. We played smarter in the second half.”
An inside basket by freshman Ava Wolin off of an assist from Lauren McBride, and a foul shot by Ellie Glock to start the fourth sparked hopes of an Olympia comeback, but Bellarmine launched a run of 14 unanswered points. The Bears would get only a pair of Bekah Bradshaw free throws the rest of the way.
Olympia, which shot just 20.4 percent from the field and committed 24 turnovers, was led by 6-foot-2 senior post Emily Church’s nine points. Church had missed four games after spraining an ankle against Emerald Ridge late last month.
“I thought she did a nice job for her first game back,” Olympia coach Jackie Robinson said.
BP – Shooting: 20 of 44 (45.4 percent). 6 of 11 (54.4). Turnovers: 16.
O – Shooting: 10 of 49 (20.4 percent). Free throws: 9 of 13 (69.2). Turnovers: 24.
BP – Makiah Reed 16, Callie Stevens 14, Reyelle Frazier 13, Julia Bordeaux 5, Ciara Glatpatan 2.
O – Ava Wolin 5, Bekah Bradshaw 2, Lauren McBride 2, Audrey Lane 7, Ellie Glock 6, Emily Church 9.