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6A boys basketball semifinals: Dallin Hall puts on a show to lift Fremont past Layton, 72-66

Dallin Hall took it to the Lancers early and often, showing off all his skillset during Friday’s semifinal matchup.

Fremont’s Dallin Hall dunks in a 6A boys basketball semifinal game against Layton at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Fremont’s Dallin Hall dunks in a 6A boys basketball semifinal game against Layton at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Dallin Hall grew tired of missing point-blank lay-ups, so he simply decided to dunk it.

It’s the type of decision few players are able to make, and particularly when playing out of a half court set. But Hall isn’t just any typical player, and proved as much during Fremont’s 72-66 semifinal win over Layton on Friday.

As for the dunk, Hall began his drive at midcourt, crossed over a defender and dunked it over another rushing defender quite emphatically as time expired in the first quarter. Sure, the dunk merely trimmed Layton’s lead to 19-15, but it gave strong indication of how the game would ultimately wind up and what type of game Hall would have.

“I missed a few (before), and I thought that I was high enough up here, so maybe I should just dunk it,” Hall said. “I made a statement. I went up there, and said, ‘I’m not missing this layup.’”

Hall was aggressive from the start, but as he mentioned, had a bit of trouble finishing at the rim early, although he shot well from outside throughout, evidenced with his 5-for-10 shooting from 3-point range. When the final buzzer sounded, Hall walked away tallying 38 points on 12-for-23 shooting from the field, four rebounds, three assists and five steals.

Getting to that final buzzer was a tough process, though, with Layton leading throughout much of the first three quarters. Led by Ethan Potter, who finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds, the Lancers did their best work inside, using a considerable size advantage to build a 35-29 lead at the half.

Layton maintained that lead through most of the third quarter, up until a late 11-2 run by the Silverwolves tied things at 45-45 entering the game’s final eight minutes.

Helping Fremont’s cause considerably was simply making open shots and grabbing the rebounds, two things it couldn’t get done throughout much of the first half.

“We weren’t as hot as we were last game, but kids just weathered the storm, and I think they were timely,” said Fremont coach Corey Melaney. “...And I think we outrebounded them by three in the second half, and we were just getting worked (rebounding) in the first half.”

Indeed, Layton owned a 22-9 rebounding edge in the first half, which largely provided the six-point lead.

The fourth quarter saw Fremont set out to a quick 10-0 run, sparked by a deft step-back 3-pointer by Hall and concluded with a 3-point bucket swished through by Mitch Stratford. Layton made runs throughout the final period, but couldn’t quite make up enough as Fremont came away with the win and a trip to the 6A state championship.

It just so happens the opponent waiting for Fremont will be Davis — a team the Silverwolves have struggled with this year, dropping games by 11- and 36-point margins during the regular season.

“It’s a dream come true. We’ve all been dreaming about it since we were little kids, and it makes it all that much better that we’re still together,” Hall said.

You might say Hall relishes the opportunity to get back at the Darts, stating, “After that first loss I’ve had them circled... So I’m excited to get them back.”