Sunday , April 08, 2018 - 5:15 AM
Fremont boys basketball trailed Davis 37-33 at halftime of its Jan. 19 home game.
The team went into the locker room when assistant coach JC Howe got a phone call.
It was from one of the Silver Wolves’ other assistant coaches, Lance Mimnaugh, who was “sicker than a dog” and couldn’t be at the game but was watching from home on a live stream.
“So he called at halftime and suggested a little defensive switch-up and I liked it, we went with it and we felt like it worked and we won,” Fremont head coach Corey Melaney said. “I just have great guys.”
Melaney says without that support system, Fremont’s boys basketball team wouldn’t have done what it did this year. The Silver Wolves accumulated an 18-6 overall record, a 9-3 mark in Region 1 that was good enough to win the championship, and advanced to the 6A state tournament quarterfinals.
For that, Melaney is the Standard-Examiner’s 2017-18 All-Area Boys Basketball Coach of the Year.
“We try to practice some situations where have to score in tough situations,” Melaney said. “Our offensive execution late in games was pretty good and Dallin (Hall) had to get us a pretty good shot, whether he did it or whether he created it.”
The Silver Wolves started two sophomores — Dallin Hall and Baylor Harrop — and played a rotation of just seven players. He wasn’t nervous about starting two sophomores and it was evident why: they were the team’s two leading scorers.
“They never played like sophomores, they have a lot of confidence,” Melaney said. “On the road in our first region game at Weber, we’re down double digits early ... they did not blink and they responded.”
Everybody in the rotation played their roles to perfection. Kyler Bush was a steady inside presence for scoring and rebounding.
Cade Hadley showed range from beyond the arc and an ability to get to the basket, and also switched from point guard to shooting guard this year to accommodate Hall at the 1-spot. Owen Stewart, all 6-foot-8 of him, came in for muscle and defense.
Clint Anderson was a deadeye shooter from 15 feet away and was a do-everything player, including taking charges. Tige Voorhees, all 5-foot-4 of the small sophomore, played bigger than his height would suggest.
“It was a different guy almost every night,” Melaney said. “We had good clutch players who made great plays.”
This year in particular, Region 1 games were like picking names out of a hat. Of the Silver Wolves’ nine region wins, five were by single digits. Their three losses were by a combined six points.
The Silver Wolves weren’t picked to win the region in the preseason coaches’ poll. State media outlets reflected that sentiment as well. It gave the team an edge it played with all season.
“That motivated the guys, we absolutely used that to motivate our guys almost daily in practice and they responded,” Melaney said.
This year’s region title was Melaney’s third as he completed his ninth season as Fremont head coach. The Silver Wolves won back-to-back region championships in 2010 (a shared title with Davis) and 2011 (outright), and went to the 5A state semifinals both years.
“They’re all special, but this one ... people probably didn’t see it coming whereas the other two we were really good, we were one of the best teams in the state those couple years we won region,” Melaney said. “We were overlooked.”
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