Hundreds of Linton boys basketball fans were wearing gold T-shirts Saturday with that single word atop the Lions roster.
It couldn't have been a more appropriate team motto.
The Lions relentlessly went full steam ahead through the 2008-09 season, going unbeaten on their way to an 82-63 victory over Dakota Prairie in the Class B state title game.
"I don't know who coined that term," Linton head coach Dan Carr said. "When we were playing in the regional we came out and played three intense games. On the bus on the way home, (Linton senior) Justin Purintun said let's put relentless on our shirts."
Saturday's championship game was a microcosm of how Linton operated all year.
The Lions ran in wave after wave of fresh players, pressuring Dakota Prairie ball-handlers on defense. On offense, the Lions didn't hesitate, whether they were taking the ball strong to the basket or pulling the trigger on a 3-pointer. They hit the boards hard on both the offensive and defensive side.
Over the first two days of the tournament, Dakota Prairie had been the most resilient team in the tournament, coming from behind in both of its wins.
Saturday, the Lions simply wore them down.
"We tried to think of a word that described us, and it came down to that," said Purintun, who scored a game-high 26 in the title game.
Like a hockey team, the Lions simply replaced one line with another, often subbing five players at a time.
It's not possible to do with six or seven good players. The Lions had more than 10 players who could play some serious basketball.
Linton had 11 players score at least a basket in Saturday's championship game. That wasn't an unusual occurrence for that team this season.
"What a luxury that is," Carr said. "I've never been able to coach this way in my life. I had kids that worked hard in the offseason and they deserved to play. In order to do that, the kids had to give a little of themselves up for the team."
The key stat in Saturday's championship game?
The mind-boggling 21 offensive rebounds the Lions pulled down. It was more than the 19 rebounds they grabbed on the defensive backboards or the 20 defensive rebounds Dakota Prairie was credited with.
Now that's relentless.
(Chris Bieri is a sportswriter for the Minot Daily News. He can be reached at email@example.com)