SYRACUSE — It took a full first quarter before Halle Duft jump-started the Fremont juggernaut.
Duft buried a 3-pointer as time expired and then turned the keys to the train over to Timea Gardiner and Emma Calvert, who engineered another impressive Fremont victory.
The Plain City & Co. Railroad continued to roll down the track, steaming to a 61-47 Region 1 victory over Syracuse in girls basketball Friday.
In a battle of league leaders, the Silverwolves (13-2, 6-0 Region 1) trailed the Titans (11-2, 5-1) until Duft scored the last five points of the first quarter, including the buzzer-beater that gave Fremont a 15-14 edge.
“That was a big momentum play right there,” Syracuse coach Braden Hamblin said. “What I remember more is the offensive rebound we gave up that led to that shot.”
Gardiner worked the middle for 22 points on several rebounds and put-backs against a Titan front line, which across the board equaled Fremont’s size.
“I take pride in working hard and getting extra baskets from grabbing more rebounds,” Gardiner said. “We attack every game, prepare the same, watch film the same and knew we had to show up and play Fremont basketball.”
Fremont’s run extended into the second stanza and reached 20-1, with Gardiner scoring the final 10 points of that streak on a variety of drives, rebounds and jumpers.
All the while, Hamblin did not call a time out to try to stop the carnage, letting his team play through it.
“I thought the girls were battling; we weren’t making a ton of mistakes,” Hamblin said. “I kind of wanted to see how they’d do. We pulled back within 10 (34-24) at the half.”
It was 46-33 after three periods, then Calvert went to work, scoring seven straight midway into the fourth frame, nine overall in the quarter and 17 for the game.
“We slowed the ball down, talked on defense — that really helps to know where they are,” Calvert said. “That gets stops and then on offense, it led to open shots. Me and (Gardiner) have been playing together for a while so we know how to play around each other; we can both play the post or go outside so we complement each other depending on how it’s going.”
Whitney Sorenson led Syracuse with 11 points and Rainee Schenck checked in with nine, even while saddled by foul trouble.