TAYLORSVILLE — Fremont girls basketball coach Larry Hadley wasn't worried about his team's ability to contend with all of the ranked teams the Silver Wolves have to beat to win a championship.
"They only rank five teams and I figured we were sixth," he said with a smile after Fremont knocked of fifth-ranked Taylorsville, 64-58. "We really have been on the outside looking in, but I knew we could hang with some of these teams down here."
What he might not have know was how well.
The Silver Wolves (19-4) beat a very athletic and talented Taylorsville (16-6) team on the boards. At first both teams traded three pointers, with the Warriors finishing with eight total. Fremont had five long bombs, three of them from guard Keli Flinders.
But then Megan Larsen hurt her ankle in the second quarter, and Hadley said the team tried to take advantage of her decreased mobility. That meant Jessica Noorlander and Krislyn Wallace had to go to work in the paint, and they did it beautifully.
"That really opened up the floor for us," Hadley said. "We just had a hard time with (Chelsea Robinson). She stuck it to us."
Robinson finished with 23 points, and Larsen tried to answer the Fremont posts with 11 of her own points and five rebounds. But the Silver Wolves out rebounded the Warriors 41-30, which made the difference in the game.
"We stopped worrying about who was going to score," Wallace said. "We needed to stop following the ball and start hitting players."
Fremont will now square off with the third-ranked 5A team at 11:40 a.m. Friday. Hadley said despite being the only unranked team left, he likes his chances.
"I really never saw us as a dark horse." he said with a grin. "More of a nasty gray horse that everybody bets on."
When asked what he though of meeting the Silver Wolves, Brighton coach Jim Gresh shook his head.
"Oh, man, are they good!" he said after Brighton defeated Clearfield 60-54 in the last game of Thursday's quarterfinals. "They're fast and good. I don't know how we're going to guard (Flinders)."
Brighton will have an easier time with Fremont if Alofa Toia is back in the line-up. She sat out Thursday's game with a sprained ankle. That meant the Bengals played a quicker, faster game, which worked pretty well, especially after they got Clearfield point guard Hailey Hall into foul trouble in the first half.
In Hall's absence Heidi Clemmer took over as a tenacious defender with four steals, and as the team's offensive leader with 20 points. Posts Katie Nye and Emily Kennington added 10 points each, but the team couldn't stop Brighton point guard Vanessa Hutson.
Clearfield actually had more field goals than Brighton (23-19), but the Bengals shot more freethrows - and made them. Brighton was 24-27 from the free throw line, while Clearfield was 9-14.
The winner will move onto the championship game on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Salt Lake Community College.
Layton vs. Skyline, 10 a.m.
Brighton vs. Fremont, 11:40 a.m.
Timpview vs. Mtn. View, 1:30 p.m.
Murray vs. Orem, 3:10 p.m.