Fremont learns resilience, patience, quick tempo in opening win over defending 5A champ Springville
PLAIN CITY — Normally, it’s the Fremont High girls basketball team that takes a double-digit lead in the first quarter. In Tuesday night’s season opener, roles were reversed.
Defending 5A state champion Springville stunned the home team with a 21-7 first-quarter lead where it scored on seven straight possessions to end the quarter.
Eventually, the defending 6A state champion Fremont figured things out and learned a lot in its 52-42 win over the Red Devils — namely how to be patient, resilient and play at a different tempo.
This is the first season since 2018 the Silverwolves have had as many new starters (two) as they did Tuesday.
“It’s definitely game one and I don’t think we probably realized how much of adjustment, especially with different roles, it was going to be,” coach Lisa Dalebout said. “Because they had played a significant role last year behind other players and now this year they’re expected to be starters and major contributors, so I mean, that takes a minute. And it’s a little overwhelming to get on the floor the first night and be like, ‘oh gosh, it falls to me.'”
It took about 10 minutes of game time for Fremont to get used to things, particularly the quick tempo of a Red Devils team that resembles almost a complete opposite of the Silverwolves’ post-centric team.
Trailing 7-3, Springville went on a torrid 18-0 run and scored on seven straight possessions, including a banked-in 3-pointer in the final seconds, to go up 21-7 while Fremont simultaneously went six straight possessions without scoring.
“I think it was good to see that,” senior guard Mia Austin said. “I mean, there’s obviously going to be a lot of guard-heavy teams … so we need to see that early and get prepared for it. We’ll see it in the future, too.”
Austin led Fremont (1-0) with 17 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter. Maggie Mendelson added 12 points as the Silverwolves ran their winning streak against Utah teams to 27 games.
“I think it was good for us to get down and we knew that we needed to grind back. At halftime, we knew what we had to do,” Austin said.
Fremont matched Springville — who beat Farmington with a buzzer-beater in last year’s 5A title game — in the second quarter and got the deficit under double digits (29-20) when Sierra Eddie dove out of bounds to save an errant pass, eventually leading to a Kennan James basket on the same possession.
Eddie then calmly made a 3-pointer and an underhand layup to cut the Springville lead to 31-25 at halftime. Two quarters after first falling behind, Fremont’s patience and resilience paid off.
Starting point guard Ashley Oliver’s layup gave Fremont a 34-33 lead in the third quarter that was otherwise marked by Springville using 40-45 seconds per possession before each shot.
Oliver stole a pass for a layup on the next possession and Mendelson made a free throw for a 37-33 lead going into the fourth.
Springville quickly went ahead 38-37 but, in another exercise of patience, Fremont turned into typical Fremont.
Austin made a corner 3-pointer, an underhand layup in traffic, passed up an open 3 to find Callee Hill for a layup, made another layup, found Mendelson for a layup, then ran down the court for an open layup, all on six consecutive possessions to put the game away.
“I felt like we made pretty decent adjustments in the second quarter and even the second half,” Dalebout said. “I got after them and made some challenges … as far as getting people the ball in the right places. I think we were moving the ball, I just don’t think we were setting each other up to score (in the first quarter).”
The math works out where Fremont allowed 21 points in the final three quarters after allowing 21 in the first quarter, and though it was another double-digit win in a five-year period full of them, Tuesday’s double-digit win had a ton of value for this year’s Silverwolves team.