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High school girls basketball: Top-ranked Fremont’s size overwhelms Skyridge in an easy nonregion win

SHARE High school girls basketball: Top-ranked Fremont’s size overwhelms Skyridge in an easy nonregion win

Fremont’s Maggie Mendelson shoots over Skyridge’s Taylor Arnell in a girls basketball game at Fremont High School in Plain City, Weber County, on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Fremont Silverwolves girls basketball team is undefeated and, so far, hadn’t felt threatened much by the first six opponents on this year’s schedule.

The Silverwolves invited Skyridge, who gave them a tough match in last year’s 6A state tournament semifinals, for a bus trip north Wednesday afternoon. The Falcons had the right idea for the first quarter but ran out of their outside-shooting magic the rest of the afternoon, and Fremont claimed another victim on its way to the 76-39 win.

The Silverwolves’ tall, exceptional front line of Maggie Mendelson, Timea Gardiner and Emma Calvert combined for 48 points and dominated the boards, which eventually turned the game into a rout.

The 6-foot-5 Mendelson, just a sophomore, had 19 points, 6-3 Gardiner added 17 and Calvert, last year’s 6A MVP, added 12 to lead the onslaught. Fremont led just 19-15 after the first eight minutes, but once Skyridge’s outside shots stopped falling, the Silverwolves used their superior height advantage to grab rebounds and loose balls, and then fed teammates like Mia Austin (13 points) and Ashley Oliver (eight) for easy baskets.

Fremont’s lead ballooned to 32-21 at halftime and then 53-31. Skyridge didn’t have an answer, even after Silverwolves coach Lisa Dalebout began substituting liberally.

“We got good shots in the second half,” Dalebout said. “They started missing theirs, and we got the long rebounds and got after it on the (fast) break.”

Despite the loss, Skyridge wasn’t disappointed. Coach Shaylee Nielsen said the Falcons lost some of their taller players to graduation from last year’s team and were anxious to test themselves. This game had been scheduled for early December, but was postponed due to coronavirus issues. Nielsen said she didn’t want to cancel it.

“If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best and we wanted see where we are,” she said. “We knew they would test us. They are the team everyone else is looking up to.”

The Falcons dropped their second straight after starting the season with five consecutive wins. Cambree Blackham led with 11 points, and she joined Ally Blackham and Taylor Arnell in dropping treys on the Silverwolves early. Skyridge, however, only had two baskets in the second quarter and seven the entire second half, including just one other trey.

“We needed more good defense,” Dalebout said. “We got them out of their rhythm and got into one of our own.”

Fremont’s next step is to win Region 1, where they are heavily favored, but Dalebout admitted they have only the highest aspirations this season after winning state in 2018, but falling in the semis and title game the last two years.