PLAIN CITY — Before Fremont and Weber tipped off their boys basketball game Friday, the Fremont High band played the national anthem and everybody stood to face the flag.
Well, had there been a visible flag, anyway. It’s usually on the west wall of the gym but was obscured by a projector screen where fans were treated to a starting lineup video.
It was the only thing that didn’t go absolutely perfectly for the Silver Wolves.
Dallin Hall and Baylor Harrop, the dominant junior guard combo trotting out every night for Fremont, combined for 39 points and matched Weber’s team output as the Silver Wolves (9-4, 3-0 Region 1) sped past their county rivals 64-39.
They look well on their way to a repeat region title, a quarter of the way through the slate anyway. At the root of Friday’s win was a tactical adjustment that turned a tie into a double-digit game before anyone realized it.
The score was 12-12 after the first quarter. Weber’s defenders switched ball screens and Fremont tried to get around the screens instead of driving toward the basket.
In the second quarter, that changed. The Silver Wolves took advantage of their mismatches and turned a bunch of Warrior missed shots into transition points. At halftime, it was 34-15 and the rest of the game was a formality.
Fremont is a team whose tallest player is 6-foot-4 and has had to play a lot differently compared to last year when the Silver Wolves were a lot bigger.
“We started kind of trying that out at the end of last year when we were playing spring ball, we started to try it out because we realized that we didn’t have much size and we’ve just kind of been getting used to it at this point. Now we’re really starting to get the hang of things and get going with it,” Harrop said.
After a breakout sophomore season, teams know what to expect from Hall now. Hall, who has Division I scholarship offers from Idaho State and Utah Valley, has responded by upping his scoring output.
But it’s usually not a good idea to leave a future D-I guard matched up with a post player. You get things like Friday’s performance, where Hall scored 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including a 7-of-10 mark in the paint with 11 rebounds.
One thing that opens the floor up is that Harrop is just as dangerous of a scoring guard and teams can’t just leave him open. Harrop had 16 points with five rebounds and four assists. Earlier this week, he scored 34 points with seven 3-pointers in a blowout win over Northridge.
“At some points I think that goes both ways. Sometimes, he’ll create a lot of attention and open things up for me, then sometimes if I’m driving, it’ll open things up for him as well and we’re both ready to spot up and shoot the ball well,” Harrop said.
In the second quarter, Kipp Calder and Hall hit consecutive 3-pointers to break the 12-12 tie. Fremont kept Weber scoreless until 3:27 left in the quarter.
A 3-pointer by Alec Nielsen was all the Warriors got in the second frame. Harrop, Tige Voorhees and Hall finished the quarter with an 8-0 run. Fremont post Ryken Nye, who transferred from Weber this year, scored a season-high 10 points.
After an 0-2 start against two of the top teams in Region 1, Weber head coach Ryan Jones didn’t keep the team in the locker room for very long. He stressed a desire to want to win not only on Tuesdays and Fridays, but in-between as well.
“I thought we had pretty good defense the whole time, Baylor Harrop’s rising up and shooting a 3 with a hand right in his face, so give him credit because he’s put a lot of time in the gym to be able to do that,” Jones said.
Fremont held Weber to 27 percent shooting from the field but, perhaps more crucially, limited the Warriors to just nine free throws. Hudson Schenck led the Warriors with 10 points.