NAMPA - For a half-decade, the Bishop Kelly girls basketball team has played in the shadow of District Three rival Middleton.
Saturday night at the Idaho Center, it was the Knights' turn to shine. Senior guard Kindall Murie led a balanced attack with 13 points as the Knights topped Century 50-40 to capture the 4A state championship - and the key piece of hardware missing from the school's trophy case.
"It's a dream," Murie said. "It's unbelievable, and it's going to be unforgettable. Every single one of these girls contributes to the game - I couldn't ask to be part of a better team."
Junior forward Raquelle Mouw added 10 points and seven rebounds for Bishop Kelly, while freshman guard Gabi Harrington, junior post Mikaela Murgoitio and junior guard Mickie Piechowski added six points apiece. Eight different players scored for the Knights, while all 11 saw meaningful minutes.
"My philosophy is that every girl I put on the team is there for a reason," BK coach Derek McCormick said. "If they're going to put in the hard work, they deserve a chance to contribute."
Murie had the hot hand early, scoring nine first-half points to stake the Knights to a 27-19 halftime lead they never surrendered. Bishop Kelly (19-7) overcame 25 turnovers by shooting 50 percent from the field and outrebounding Century 31-19. Murgoitio grabbed a game-high nine rebounds for the undersized Knights.
"We're not the biggest team," Murgoitio said. "But we believe in ourselves."
The 10-point victory was the hardest-earned of the state tournament for the Knights (19-7), who blew out Moscow 51-26 in Thursday's opening round and blitzed Pocatello 51-24 in Friday's semifinal.
"We wanted to prove people wrong," McCormick said. "Eleven girls working together got hot at the right time."
BK was the 4A District Three runner-up behind three-time defending 4A state champion Middleton, which entered state on a 72-game winning streak but was upset by Twin Falls in the opening round. Bishop Kelly picked up the flag for the Treasure Valley, emerging as the only state champion from District Three in 2013.
Multiple BK players pointed to their oh-so-close district title loss to Middleton as a turning point.
"Even though we lost, we felt like we messed up their momentum and built some good momentum of our own heading into state," Mouw said.
Added Murrie: "It was a defining moment. We knew right then that we wanted it, and we weren't going to let anything stand in our way."
Sophomore guard Sarah Holt led Century (17-8) with 14 points, while senior forward Katherine Roberts added 10. But the night belonged to the black and gold, as McCormick and his players celebrated the first girls basketball title in Bishop Kelly's storied athletics history.
"This was our goal," McCormick said. "I was fortunate enough to be a player on the first BK baseball state championship team in 1995, so I know how good it feels. From the day I got here, I've wanted these girls to feel that.
"It still feels the same."