TAYLORSVILLE -- The expected against the unexpected. The favorite versus the dark horse.
Does Weber High have enough firepower to take down the Titans -- who are seeking their second state 5-A title in three years -- in today's 1 p.m. championship showdown in Bruin Arena?
"I believe what they say 'It's tough to beat the same team three times in a year,' " said Warriors senior combo guard Erica Olpin. "We're going to have to run like they do, be smart and play defense. Defense wins championships. We have to rest our legs and get some good sleep."
In their two Region 1 meetings this season, four-time defending league champion Syracuse swept 28- and 12-point wins.
The Warriors, who were making their first semifinal-round appearance since 1987, played their starting five for all but 10 minutes Friday in a 50-42 victory over Region 4 champion Riverton at Salt Lake Community College.
The Silverwolves had won their last four and were 14-1 in their last 15.
"It's surreal, a dream come true," said the 18-year-old Olpin, of playing for a state girls basketball title. Ever since the (six) seniors were in eighth grade, we've been looking to this day."
Olpin splashed in a career-high 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting with three 3-pointers, four rebounds, one assist, two steals and two blocks. Her game followed that of teammate Erin Reichle, who had a career-high 21 against Bingham in Thursday's quarterfinals.
"It was my time, just kidding," Olpin said. "I didn't know I scored that much."
Olpin had 11 of Weber's 14 fourth-quarter points, with the Warriors knocking down 9-of-11 free throws in the quarter. She and Chantil Martin each were 6-of-6 from the foul line versus Riverton.
"I like to shoot free throws. It's something I've worked on, so it's good to see it pay off," Olpin said. "Some games come down to free throws and we've been practicing them a lot. They paid off for us."
Weber (18-6 overall) blew a 10-point, second-quarter lead, falling behind by three after a 13-0 Silverwolves' run.
"We stopped talking on defense when they had us down," Olpin said. "We looked in each other's eyes and said we can do this. We had faith in each other. Ever since KB (Kristine Broome) got hurt (dislocated left ankle in a non-basketball related injury), we've worked harder than ever and are just getting after it.
"We're really playing with a purpose," she said. "We've been playing for Kristine who said, 'You never know when your last game will be.' "
Cheyenne Tanner tossed in nine points with four rebounds and Martin had eight points, three assists and one steal for the Warriors, who shot 40.6 percent (13-of-32), were 70.0 percent (7-of-10) from downtown and got outrebounded 27-25. Weber, on a four-game winning streak and 6-1 in its last seven, committed 14 turnovers leading to 16 Silverwolves' points.
Riverton (19-5) shot 33.3 percent (14-of-42) and never led in the second half of its first state 5-A semifinal since its 2009 runner-up season. Twelve turnovers led to 18 Warriors' points.