For the third consecutive year, the Bear River Bears ended the season Thursday as 4A girls lacrosse champions as they beat the Payson Lions 12-9, something head coach Jeremy Webb had confidence in after his team won the state title in 2023.

Things haven’t changed for the Bears and Webb as they dominated any and all competition this season en route to an undefeated 20-0 record.

“This was our goal coming in and I knew we had the team,” Webb said. “We knew it wouldn’t come down to one or two of our girls, even though we’ve got some really good girls. We knew coming into the season it would take a team effort.”

The dominant season for Bear River included wins over upper classification teams Bonneville, Syracuse, Wasatch, Lehi and Corner Canyon. It won those games by an average score of 10.2 goals.

“We knew that it didn’t matter what team we played, they had to play 7 versus 7 on offense and 7 versus 7 on defense. I felt like our team had the best five through seven there was.”

That said, things started slow for the Bears Thursday, as Payson scored the first two goals of the game within the first minute and a half. Bear River responded though, and led 5-4 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bears then held the Lions to just five goals in the last three periods, however, including just one in the second and third quarters combined.

The Lions made things interesting in the final quarter when they scored two goals in the last three minutes to cut the Bear River lead to three, but the momentum stopped there and Bear River hung on for the victory.

Junior Shelby Wilkinson was stellar for Bear River, as she scored six of its 12 goals. She was a perfect 6 for 6 with her shots.

Jasey Larkin added three goals and an assist.

“It’s incredibly hard to win a three-peat, as a lot of people know,” Webb said. “I’d have to rank this one, for me right now, up as No. 1 because we’ve lost eight girls, we lost 10 girls and we’ll do it again.

“We’ll have to reload, but you know every year we’ll just keep rebuilding. It’s the Bear River way.”

The Bears will look to reload for next season on their quest for state title No. 4, but one thing is clear: the road in 4A girls lacrosse runs straight through Garland and Bear River High School.