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High school girls basketball: No. 1 Fremont marches into semifinals with dominant second half

Fremont outscored Herriman 36-15 in the second half en route to the 6A quarterfinal win

Fremont’s Halle Duft and Herriman’s Ainzlee Enger compete for the ball in the 6A quarterfinals at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
Fremont’s Halle Duft and Herriman’s Ainzlee Enger compete for the ball in the 6A quarterfinals at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Herriman discovered Wednesday night what Region 1 teams dealt with all year: Scoring on No. 1 Fremont is very, very hard.

The Silverwolves’ towering interior defenders forced Herriman to shoot from outside early and often and the shots rarely dropped as Fremont rolled to the 61-32 victory over No. 8 seed Herriman in 6A quarterfinals at the Huntsman Center.

Fremont coach Lisa Dalebout acknowledged that her team probably caught Herriman on an off night but said having multiple 6-footers on the floor can be intimidating for opposing teams.

“We just used our length and our guards did a really good job of hustling and trying to cover all of their 3-point shooters cause they have a ton of them, they all shoot,” said Dalebout.

On Wednesday though they weren’t shooting well. Herriman finished the game shooting 17%, and its 32 points were well below its season average of 54.7.

For Fremont’s defense, it was just another day at the office as it led 6A in scoring defense, only allowing 33.6 ppg this season.

Maggie Mendelson came off the bench to lead Fremont in scoring with 13 points and 11 rebounds as she played extended minutes because of Timea Gardiner’s foul trouble in the first half. Gardiner still finished with 12 points, while Emma Calvert added a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Even though Fremont ended up winning by 29, it had to grind through a frustrating first half because turnover problems — it finished the game with 22.

Fremont still led 25-17 at the break, but Herriman had plenty of chances to take the lead but only made 2 of 16 3-pointers. It wasn’t until Averee Porter and Gardiner hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute of the half that the lead stretched to multiple possessions.

For Herriman, after the rough first-half shooting, unfortunately the shots didn’t magically start falling in the third quarter either as it was held scoreless.

Fremont only scored eight points itself in the third quarter, but it pulled away emphatically with a 28-point fourth quarter.

“I feel like they just executed a lot better. I thought that they got the ball into the post a little bit better and they ran the floor and handled their full-court pressure a little more efficiently,” said Dalebout about her team’s efficiency in the second half.

Fremont finished with a 49-30 edge on the boards after a relatively even first half rebounding.

With the win, Fremont advances to Friday’s 6A semifinals and will face No. 5 Skyridge at 3 p.m.