WEST JORDAN — Don't try convincing Austin Raught that the Fremont Silverwolves are in a rebuilding mode this year.
Raught, the lone returning starter from last year's 5A championship team, buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Fremont to a thrilling 48-47 victory over defending 4A champion Lone Peak Tuesday in the Hall of Fame Game at West Jordan.
"I have to remind myself he wasn't a senior last year," said Fremont coach Bernie Graziano about Raught, who is now a three-year starter. "He has so much experience, and really to his credit he is really unselfish."
With a minute remaining, and Fremont down two, Raught was too unselfish and passed up an open game-tying shot attempt. So when Lone Peak missed the front end of a one-and-one with 11 seconds remaining, Graziano called a timeout, and he made it clear who he wanted shooting.
Point guard Taylor Proctor sped the ball up the floor, ran a pick-and-roll with Raught, who quickly unloaded the long-range shot that hit nothing but net.
"It was just a pick play, and I had the option to drive or shoot, whatever was open," said Raught, who finished with 10 points. "It felt on line, but I'd been off all game, so I had no clue what was going to happen."
That was the overall sentiment from both coaches entering the game. Even though both teams are defending champs, they open the season with several inexperienced players in key positions.
That tentativeness was obvious early on as both teams struggled running their offense and shot the ball poorly.
Fremont settled down first as it outscored Lone Peak 19-10 in the second quarter to take a 32-24 halftime lead. Unfortunately for the 'Wolves, it didn't last too long.
Lone Peak increased its defensive intensity in the second half, and Fremont panicked immensely as the Knights came storming back to take a 45-41 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Graziano tried calming his players down by reminding them to play good defense, and it paid off as Lone Peak committed four turnovers in the final few minutes. That helped set the stage for Raught's season-opening heroics.
"It's nice when you struggle in the second half offensively and with turnovers, to still be able to make some plays defensively to give yourself a chance," said Graziano.
Like Raught, Derrick Knighton also hit three 3-pointers for a game-high 13 points. Grady Jeppesen also chipped in with three treys and nine points.
Grant Cummings, Tyler Haws and Cory Chase each scored nine points for the Knights, who are making the jump from 4A to 5A this year.