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The roots of Richfield's championship season began sprouting in the hours and days following the Wildcats' second-round loss in the 2012 Class 2A state playoffs.

That's when Megan Bean decided the hurt she felt after going from championship favorite to upset victim wasn't going to happen again.

Not on her watch.

"I'd never been so down about something before," said Bean, a senior center who is The Tribune's Class 2A MVP. "We knew how bad it felt, and we all knew we didn't want to go through that again. This was our chance to show everyone what we're made of."

Bean, easily the most dominant post player in her classification, did it on offense — she averaged nearly 14 points per game — but also did it on the defensive end. She traded scoring for stops, as her scoring average dropped two points from her junior season.

The result was Bean's second state title, and the Wildcats' third in five years.

"She's one of the quickest post players in the state," Richfield coach Marc Peterson said. "She runs the floor quicker than most guards I've seen.

"She set the goal to get us a state championship, and she led us to it."

Bean averaged 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in the postseason. But when she wasn't scoring, the 6-foot-2 center was denying opponents with her defense. She scored in single digits twice in region play, but she recorded at least five steals in those games.

"We knew our offense can't always win us games," said Bean, who scored in double figures in five of 24 games. "So we emphasized defense. We probably spent 80 percent of practice working on defense."

That work resulted in a 22-2 record and a memorable season for Bean, who was The Tribune's 2A volleyball MVP last fall and will play that sport at Weber State after graduation.

"I'll remember the girls and the coaches, having such a good time with them," she said. "I'm already missing it, missing the girls." —

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