6A basketball playoffs: Big 2nd-half run, improved sophomore center send Fremont girls to the quarterfinals

1 month ago Standard-Examiner

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Layton High's Quincie Knudson, left, and Fremont's Aly Coombs, right, jostle for the ball during a 6A girls basketball second-round playoff game at Fremont High School on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

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Fremont High's Charli Hunt, right, shoots a layup while getting hit in the mouth by Layton's Olivia Hodapp, left, during a 6A girls basketball second-round playoff game at Fremont High School on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

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Layton High's Katlynn Spendlove, left, blocks the shot of Fremont's Kale Brian, right, during a 6A girls basketball second-round playoff game at Fremont High School on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

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PLAIN CITY — When Fremont High’s girls basketball team gathered for its first practices of the season in the fall, the team looked vastly different from years past.

The Silverwolves were less experienced, much shorter and weren’t as flush with college-level talent like they had been.

That radically different team in November has become just like the other Fremont teams of the past, in that it’s playing deep into the postseason.

Thursday saw No. 5 Fremont beat region rival No. 21 Layton 59-45 in the second round of the 6A girls basketball state tournament, which moves the Silverwolves on to next Tuesday’s quarterfinals at Weber State’s Dee Events Center.

Fremont (18-6) had a tougher battle for the first 2 1/2 quarters than a 5-versus-21 matchup would indicate to most people, but eventually managed a win.

“I think we were just ready for state, we were dialed down, ready to go and we knew what we had to do,” FHS sophomore center Kaidance King said.

Layton (5-17) came into Thursday’s game clearly carrying some of the same good vibes that propelled it to a first-round upset win at Taylorsville on Tuesday.

King scored eight of Fremont’s first 10 points as the Silverwolves led 10-2 early. Layton fought back to a 16-11 deficit at the end of the first quarter, helped by Olivia Hodapp’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

Quincie Knudson’s free throws tied the game 16-16 at the 4:54 mark of the second quarter. A quick 10-0 Fremont run made it 26-16 during which Kale Brian scored on a layup in traffic and also pass out of a double team to Syncere Langston for a wide-open layup.

Again, Layton brought the deficit to a manageable 28-23 going into halftime. The Lancers stayed within range by getting to the free-throw line and making free throws (they shot 16 for 20 at the line).

“I didn’t think we were really clicking on both ends but they figured out a way to win and finish the game, so that’s a good sign, especially at this point in the season,” Fremont coach Lisa Dalebout said.

Free throws, along with a little more defensive success, also happened to be how Fremont went up big by the end of the third quarter.

Soon after a Knudson 3-pointer, Layton’s Charly Stevens scored off the dribble to cut Fremont’s lead to 34-31. Then the deluge started.

The Silverwolves went on a 19-0 run spanning parts of the third and fourth quarters to eventually go up 53-31. Fourteen of their 18 third-quarter points came at the foul line.

“It’s kind of a clunky, weird game with all the fouls but we stuck together and we pulled out the win and we pulled together,” King said.

King led Fremont with 14 points, Charli Hunt scored 10 points with a couple of tough drives to the basket and Aly Coombs, sporting cotton in her right nostril to stem a bloody nose, scored 10 points.

King had 13 points and nine rebounds against Syracuse a week ago, nine rebounds against Davis in the region-title clincher and, according to Dalebout, 10 rebounds on Thursday.

Dalebout praised King’s improvement this season, which comes at a position that was occupied the last four years by players who are now playing college basketball.

“It’s definitely had its ups and downs and its learning moments, but it’s been a really fun season, I’ve improved a lot and it’s been really fun to play with all my teammates and it’s been great,” King said.

Both teams had some of their best games at the free-throw line Thursday. Fremont shot a searing 20 for 21 (95.2%), with King in particular shooting 8 for 8 on foul shots.

Knudson went 4 for 5 on free throws and led Layton with 15 points. Stevens scored nine and Hodapp had eight.

Next Tuesday at 9:10 p.m., Fremont will face No. 4 Mountain Ridge, a team it beat 45-38 back on Dec. 15. Dalebout expects the Sentinels to be a tough team to face, citing their athleticism and good guard play.

But the Fremont team that was inexperienced and unsure of its identity in November has since won a share of a Region 1 championship, its sixth in a row, and has won yet another playoff game.

“At this point, I feel like they’re playing really cohesive, and they know their role, where before there was like ambiguity and they didn’t really know who was who,” Dalebout said.

3A GIRLS QUARTERFINALS: Morgan 60, Layton Christian 51

CEDAR CITY — Morgan weathered multiple Layton Christian comeback attempts and beat its Region 13 rival for the third time this season in Thursday’s 3A state quarterfinal round at Southern Utah University.

The No. 3 Trojans (19-6) led by as much as 15 points in the first half before a flurry of LCA 3-pointers brought the game to a 45-45 tie in the fourth quarter.

Emmory Morrell made one free throw to give MHS a 46-45 lead and missed the second, but Kaydence Wardell got the offensive rebound and later a layup on the same possession. Back-to-back baskets by Alyvia Jaffa and Elena Birkeland gave Morgan a 52-46 lead and the Trojans finished the game out at the free throw line.

Birkeland led the Trojans with 26 points, shooting 16 for 20 at the foul line and making her final six foul shots. Jaffa scored 14 points for Morgan. Bianca Silva scored 25 points for LCA (13-10), had all nine of the Eagles’ first-quarter points and didn’t score in the second quarter.

Ruzgar Boyle scored 14 points for the Eagles with four 3-pointers, including two in the final two minutes of the first half and another 3 that tied the game 42-42 early in the fourth quarter.

Morgan faces No. 2 Richfield in the 3A state semifinals on Friday at 5:50 p.m. at SUU.

4A GIRLS QUARTERFINALS: Snow Canyon 52, Bear River 47

LOGAN — No. 6 Bear River led 20-18 at the half, then No. 3 Snow Canyon took control with a 21-14 third-quarter advantage to win in the 4A quarterfinals at Utah State.

Gracie Riley paced Bear River with 22 points and nine rebounds. Crystal Park scored eight points and Aubree Fry added seven.

The Bears end the year with an 11-11 mark. Sophomore Olivia Hamlin led all scorers with 23 points for Snow Canyon (18-5).

3A BOYS QUARTERFINALS: Grantsville 52, Morgan 43

CEDAR CITY — No. 5 Morgan led 13-7 after one quarter, then No. 4 Grantsville outscored the Trojans 45-30 the rest of the way in a 3A quarterfinal contest at SUU.

Aiden Harris led Morgan with 10 points and Gavin Turner scored seven. Josh Criddle tallied six points, nine rebounds and three assists while Kolten Asay and Eli Bailey each added six points.

Brigham Mulford led all scorers with 21 points and four 3-pointers for Grantsville (18-6). The Trojans end the year with a 16-7 record.

4A BOYS QUARTERFINALS: Layton Christian 69, Ridgeline 68

LOGAN — Tyrese Lacey made an up-and-under basket with 2.8 seconds left, then stole the ensuing inbound pass to help No. 6 Layton Christian Academy pull off an upset win over No. 3 Ridgeline at the 4A state quarterfinals at Utah State.

LCA (18-10) trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half, then opened the fourth quarter on a 16-4 run to take a 62-61 lead on a deep 3-pointer by Timmie Olubisi.

With LCA trailing 68-67, Ridgeline was called for traveling, giving the Eagles the ball back. Lacey picked up his dribble inside the 3-point line, then stepped through a defender and made a tough shot off the glass to put LCA on top.

Tyrin Jones led the Eagles with 17 points, multiple slam dunks and scored a basket in the fourth quarter to get LCA tied at 59-59 before Olubisi’s 3-pointer. Otavio Armani scored 16 points and Lacey had 14.

The Eagles, who are the defending 3A state champions, face No. 2 Dixie at 7:40 p.m. Friday in the 4A semifinals. The Flyers beat LCA 72-66 on Dec. 31 in a non-region tournament game.

Justin Johnson contributed to this report. Connect with reporter Patrick Carr via email at [email protected], Twitter @patrickcarr_ and Instagram @standardexaminersports.


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