For the St. Mary's girls' basketball team, stats said it all.

The Pirates outscored their opponents 1,733-893 en route to a 26-1 overall record, a 13-game winning streak to conclude the season and back-to-back Class 3A state titles.

But ask St. Mary's coach Mike Burkett what he thought about his team's season, and the word "dominant" doesn't come to mind.

He used another word that starts with that letter.

"It was their dedication," he said.

Burkett's guidance helped him land The Gazette Preps 2018-19 Girls' Basketball Coach of the Year award.

The Pirates' season was highlighted by a second straight title, thanks to a dominant win over rival Colorado Springs Christian School in the championship game.

"There was a whole different approach to this year," he said. "They probably put in more work this year than they did the year before."

Things looked bleak early on as Burkett was under investigation for alleged misconduct. Law enforcement and St. Mary's High School were involved but the allegations were proved to be false.

“Yeah, it didn’t start well but ... I knew — I knew — that everything would be fine and I would just have to go through the process,” Burkett told The Gazette after the state title game.

Still, the Pirates went 5-0 while Burkett was under investigation and he was not allowed to coach. But once the Pirates were fully staffed, they continued to rule.

Their lone loss came against CSCS, which topped St. Mary's 55-38 on Jan. 25.

"They beat us pretty bad," Burkett said. "They let us know exactly what we had to do."

In retrospective, it was a minor setback. The Pirates continued to blow out team after team and earned redemption with a 40-34 win over CSCS in a district tournament game.

And when the state tournament came around, it was hard to stop St. Mary's.

The Pirates outscored their first four state opponents 266-107 before facing the Lions for a third time. In that game, they won 56-34.

And it looks like they can perhaps do a three-peat in Burkett's 21st season. He loses only one senior from this year's roster. Their three top scorers — Josephine Howery (19.2 points), Catherine Cummings (10.6) and Seneca Hackley (13.7) — will be back.

"With that starting lineup, I'm going to take my chances with any team in the state," Burkett said.

Reporter

Chhun Sun is a sports reporter with an emphasis in preps. He joined The Gazette in April 2015 and covered public safety for three years before joining @gazettepreps staff. The Thailand-born Cambodian-American has been in journalism for nearly two decades.