DANVILLE — Bailey Bryant, Kari Free, Lori Haas, Samantha Siddens and Emily Weinard finished what they started. It just took four years.
It began — for them — in 2009 with a championship in the Vermilion County girls' basketball tournament.
They ended a 4-for-4 run Friday night at Palmer Arena, using their trademark defensive pressure to overpower Milford 41-23 in the 32nd annual title game.
"It doesn't get old," Haas said.
"This is the way we wanted to finish," Free said. All of the seniors are happy."
The seniors make up the entire starting lineup for a program that has captured five consecutive county crowns. Each one followed a distinctly similar pattern.
"They swarm. They contest every shot. They contest every pass. They extend," Milford coach Rod Burgett said. "You don't see that against every team you play."
This game wasn't an exception. B-H's 22 opponents are averaging 27.6 points per game.
"We practice defense intensely, and it pays off," Weinard said.
"We defended well," B-H coach Mike Stephens said, "but for us to do anything (in the postseason), we have to play better offensively."
Weinard scored both of the Blue Devils' first-quarter baskets. B-H led 5-2 entering the second quarter. Free knocked down all six of her points in the second quarter as the lead grew to 21-8 at halftime.
"Emily and Kari were our keys," Stephens said. "Kari hit some big shots to ignite us, and we've encouraged Emily to look for her shots. Those are two seniors who are fundamentally sound but don't always get the publicity."
At halftime, Milford had committed 17 turnovers while attempting 10 field goals.
"They limit your opportunities," said Burgett, who lost point guard Kylie Scherf with a first-quarter injury. "Their defense and her injury, when you take our playmaker out of the game, that's a bad combination."
Ashlen Portwood led the Bearcats (11-11) with seven points and nine rebounds.
Haas led the Blue Devils (17-5) with nine points. Siddens and Weinard each scored eight. Weinard grabbed a game-high nine boards.
Though B-H struggled with its shooting early (2 of 16 in the first quarter), it didn't relax on defense.
"No matter how the offense is going," Haas said, "we play as hard as we can on defense."
Third-seeded Milford got the Blue Devils' attention by upending second-seeded Armstrong-Potomac in the semifinals.
"We didn't want that to happen to us," Haas said.
The Blue Devils had bookend performances on defense, allowing two points in the first and fourth quarters.
"In their defense," Stephens said, "losing their point guard put them at a disadvantage. That's a tough scenario."
Milford won't have to wait long for a rematch. The teams play again Thursday in Bismarck.