Bellarmine Prep girls basketball coach Kevin Meines wanted to see his team get off to a fast start.
What he got was the Indy 500.
The Lions scored 31 points in the opening 6 minutes, hitting 13 of the 15 shots they attempted, to wrap up the Narrows 4A championship with a 73-48 road victory over Olympia on Friday.
Bellarmine Prep (16-1, 10-0 4A Narrows) has won nine consecutive games overall and 22 conference games in a row.
Two more victories and the Lions will register back-to-back undefeated seasons in league.
Despite the loss, Olympia (12-9, 6-3) can still secure the league's second seed to the district tournament.
"I told the girls right after the game that we still control our own destiny," Bears coach Nigel Warren said. "We have two games remaining in the regular season. We win both of those, we are in a great position for the playoffs."
Bellarmine Prep, which hasn’t lost since Dec. 27 during a holiday tournament in California, quickly put the hammer down against the Bears, grabbing a commanding 31-12 lead with 2 minutes left in the first quarter.
"We knew what was on the line and we challenged the girls to come out focused," Meines said. "We've played well in spurts this season. Tonight we wanted them to play with intensity from the start and they answered the bell."
Even more remarkable is the fact Bellarmine Prep produced some of the offensive damage with 6-foot-5 Claire Martin, who was whistled for her second foul midway through the first quarter, watching from the bench.
Martin, who finished with 12 points, made her first three shots from the field, helping the Lions get off to the fast start.
With the senior center out of the lineup, Jayana Ervin took over on the inside, while Shelby Gavigan and McKenzie Alton lit it up from long range.
Four of the Lions 13 field goals in the opening onslaught were 3-pointers and they took just one free throw.
"Good defense, better offense," Warren said about his team's effort in trying to slow down Bellarmine Prep early. "I thought we actually played well defensively. They just made shots. The biggest thing for us was we didn't execute on offense and that let to a lot of turnovers which they were able to score off of."
Bellarmine Prep led 47-22 at the half with Ervin scoring 13 of her game-high 17 points in the first half.
Behind the play of Jenna Randich and Amelia Ack, Olympia went on a run to open the second half, briefly getting the deficit under 20 points, but failed to threaten the rest of the way as Bellarmine's cushion ballooned to 27 points late in third quarter.
"This was shaping up to be a 50-point loss," Warren said. "We made adjustments at the half and the girls came out wanting to play. This is a reslient team. They don't quit.".
Randich and Ack finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Bears.
The Lions also received double-figure scoring from Alton (11 points) and Gavigan (10).
Mount Tahoma boys 71, at North Thurston 70: The Rams’ fourth-quarter rally wasn't enough in a 71-70 loss to the Thunderbirds in a battle of fourth-place teams in the 3A Narrows. Wes Reynolds led North Thurston, who fell to 4-8 in league play, with 15 points. The Rams are now in a fifth-place tie with Shelton, which lost 80-53 to Lincoln.
River Ridge girls 83, at Washington 46: The 83 points the Hawks scored in a win over Washington was a season high, led by Makenna Schultz’s 25 points and Savannah McGill’s 20 points. The win puts the Hawks (9-4 2A SPSL) into a second-place tie with Franklin Pierce.
The Greater St. Helens League swept the 3A/2A District's state-qualifying individuals and teams spots for next week's state bowling championships following Friday's district championships at Longview's Triangle Bowl.
R.A. Long won the team title with 2,756 total pins followed by Columbia River (2,652) to sweep the top two team spots to state. The top four individuals from non-state qualifying teams (Hudson's Bay's Reagan Lorey and Michayla Garden, Fort Vancouver's Lauryn Heying and Mark Morris' Rachel Kreis) also qualify for state, which is next Friday and Saturday at University Place's Narrows Plaza Bowl.
Black Hills (2,294) and Tumwater (1,929) finished fifth and ninth, respectively, in the team race. R.A. Long's Elise Yates (727) won the individual title.
4A, 3A/2A WCD tournament: The 4A and 3A/2A West Central District III bowling championships begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Pacific Lanes in Tacoma, featuring Capital, North Thurston, River Ridge, Shelton, Timberline and Yelm.