washington terrace -- Although they are unscathed, the Lakers took a couple of tight games to learn from as if they were losses.
"We had a couple of close games that woke us up a little, Fremont (a 49-43 overtime win on Dec. 8, 2012) and the Sky View road game (a 49-48 victory on Jan. 31)," said Bonneville coach Mike Russell.
However, the 31-25 quarterfinal-round setback to eventual state 4-A champion Timpanogos -- where the Lakers shot a frosty 17.5 percent (7 of 40) -- on Feb. 22, 2012, still stings and is a painful reminder to Bonneville.
"I think we'll be more mentally prepared for what we may see this week and maturity factors into that," Russell said. "That game is in the past, but we certainly haven't forgotten about it. It has fueled our fire this season. It wasn't our time and we weren't ready."
The two-time defending Region 5 champion Lakers (21-0 overall) -- one of the state's three remaining undefeated girls basketball teams -- tangle with Maple Mountain (14-7) in today's 4-A tournament opener at Salt Lake Community College.
Russell traveled to Spanish Fork on Feb. 14 to watch the Golden Eagles' 50-45 win over Orem.
"Maple Mountain reminds me of Roy with its small size and good shooters at guard," he said. "We're going to do what we do well, and we feel like we can force other team's hands. We got the tougher draw (in the bracketing), but we're not afraid of what we've been given."
In order to get a feel for SLCC's Bruin Arena -- Bonneville practiced there Feb. 1 -- the Lakers also practiced Feb. 15 in the Dee Events Center and Monday at Ogden's Phil Russell Basketball Court.
"It's just to get on a bigger floor than what we have, and it's always fun to play at the Dee Events Center," Mike Russell said. "It's nice to practice somewhere different.
"The girls have had some rest; we're good to them," he said. "The team character we have is one thing and the mindset the girls have is the other aside from talent."
Bonneville allows the fewest points in the state 4-A ranks (35.9 points per game) and is No. 4 in scoring (56.6 ppg).
"I couldn't be more pleased with the kids overall," Russell said. "We haven't had any problems off the court and no problems on the court. No problems with selfishness. Everybody is in it for the right reasons and does what it takes to win.
"We've added a few new wrinkles to our offense, nothing major," he said. "We'll just fine-tune the next three days. I have no concerns about playing early (12:50 p.m.). We played early last year (11:10 a.m.), and we played pretty well (a 49-27 win over Olympus).
"This has been an amazing season and I've enjoyed every minute of it. It has gone by way too fast," said Russell, who is his sixth season at Bonneville.
Fresno State signee Emilie Volk is pumped for this week's 4-A tournament.
"I've been looking forward to it ever since we lost last year," she said. "We have a special team this year and losing motivates you so much more. That (Timpanogos) game is still in the back of my mind and motivates me."
The 17-year-old Volk, a senior small forward/shooting guard, is No. 11 in state 4-A scoring (15.7 ppg). Junior point guard Cortney Porter leads the state in assists (6.8 apg) while averaging 11.1 points.
"It's been awesome being undefeated and it's not an easy accomplishment," Volk said. "It's very special and very rewarding, but we're not finished. Everyone is 0-0 now and anything can happen. Nothing has changed for us; focus on the present and take it one game at a time.
"While we are preparing for whoever we play, it's more of what we do well and keep doing the little things," she said. "Playing on a state 4-A soccer title team (in 2012) was exciting. It's been fun to see the basketball team grow and get better. This has been like a second family to me, which helps tremendously."
Unbeaten Springville and the Lakers could meet in Friday's semifinals. Bonneville hasn't been in the semis since its 2006 4-A runner-up finish.
"It would mean everything to win the state championship and a dream come true," Volk said. "I think we're fully capable of doing it. We have to reach out and get it and work hard.
"I knew we had special girls once we starting playing together," she said. "I can speak for all the girls in saying that we had a chip on our shoulder and we came back even stronger. We haven't played our best basketball, but starting Tuesday we will.
"It's all about energy, grit, work ethic and teamwork," Volk said. "As long as we work hard and do what we do, we can achieve our goals. Whatever people view us as is fine with us. We need to stick to our plan.
"It's always defense, which is our bread and butter," she said. "I love playing defense and our practices have been good lately. Hopefully, I'll be wearing another (state championship) ring when I go to Fresno State. It will be a dream senior year."