Kenny Conroy didn't want to tell his girls basketball team what he thought it could accomplish this season.
So instead, the Hilton Head Christian Academy coach shared his belief with their families at his annual parents meeting. The Eagles could be good, he said, and his expectations were higher than ever.
"I shared it with our parents," he said, " ... that we have a chance to do something very good."
Conroy's words have been prophetic thus far. The Eagles still haven't tasted defeat this season, as they continued their 9-0 start Tuesday with a 51-16 triumph over rival Hilton Head Preparatory School.
Chemistry has been the theme so far, Conroy said.
"There's no individual in them at all," he said. "As you see out there, they pass the ball around very well. They're very unselfish, they work very, very hard together and they're all friends."
Nine different players cracked the scoring column in the latest win, led by Monica Bundy's game-high 17-point effort. The junior, who chipped in a trio of buckets from behind the arc, believes her team's hot start is the culmination of several years on the floor together.
"We've all been together for a couple years," she said. "We grew up playing middle school basketball, JV, varsity. We really work together as a team, we pass and we don't hog the ball."
The Dolphins are hoping for a similar rise in the years to come. After shutting down the program a season ago, Prep is introducing a youthful roster to the varsity level this time around, as three sophomores and five freshmen have taken up the gauntlet this year.
"We're trying to compete," coach Dan Sheehan said. "We're getting there. We tried to put together a quarter or some possessions where we played some good defense and some good offense. The speed of the game is what we're working on."
The Eagles are already there. Their tenacious full-court defense helped lift them to a 7-0 lead and eventually a 28-5 halftime advantage. Ziaira Doe chipped in 13 points for Hilton Head Christian, which has five girls who are capable of connecting on the outside shot, Conroy said.
Their offensive resurgence will be key come postseason play.
"This team has a chance to go far because they're not only a very strong defensive team," Conroy said, "but they can also shoot the ball. It's not just one or two girls."
The Eagles look to continue their perfect start Friday, when they travel to Pinewood Prep.
"It's great because it's a first for Christian Academy ladies basketball," Bundy said. "We've got a great group of athletic girls and we just work hard."
Hilton Head Christian girls 51, Hilton Head Prep 16
Hilton Head Christian (9-0) -- Monica Bundy 17, Ziaira Doe 13, Andy Anderson 5, Hannah Reynolds 4, Audrey Bensch 4, Alexis Evanofski 3, Francesca Guidobono 2, Callie Haertel 2, Bria McCarthy 1
Hilton Head Prep (3-9) -- Kate Herman 8, Kendall Smith 6, Foster Willey 2
Hilton Head Christian boys 49, Hilton Head Prep 46
Mike Dillon muscled in the go-ahead basket underneath with 2:45 to play and the Eagles made their free throws down the stretch to secure the team's biggest win of the season.
Dillon's final bucket was part of an efficient 10-point performance for the big man, who also helped Hilton Head Christian down low on offensive and defense rebounds. The Eagles owned the boards and limited the Dolphins to few second-chance possessions.
"(He) stepped up big inside," coach Mac Tamminen said. "He had a couple blocked shots and a couple nice shots. He was key for us in the middle."
The two teams played back-and-forth basketball until the final minutes, when the Eagles began to assert themselves down low. They broke open what was a 38-37 game after the third quarter with a strong final eight minutes.
"They had the height advantage and I think we did a very good job of keeping them off the boards and limiting them to one or two shots," Tamminen said. "That was key, because those guys are just long and athletic and they just crash the boards."
Prep's John Eck led all scorers with 15 points.
Brad Meccariello had 12 for the Eagles, including a couple of key first-half 3-pointers.
"They're a good basketball team," Dolphins coach Jerry Faulkner said. "They had the guys coming back from last year and got a whole bunch of new guys. Early in the season they hadn't put it together yet, but they mixed old and the new, and tonight they put it together."
Hilton Head Christian (5-4) -- Brad Meccariello 12, Mike Dillon 10, Deo'Vonte Doe 8, Chris Edwards 5, Ryan Barrett 5, Reese Dolyniuk 5, Zach Polk 4
Hilton Head Prep (8-4) -- John Eck 15, Randy Young 12, Noah Sulek 8, Trevor Marbut 4, Brennan Mikell 3, Archer Brooks 2, J.T. Marbut 2