Sometimes one year can be the difference between experiencing heartbreak and feeling euphoria.
The Fremont Silverwolves put the finishing touches on an undefeated season by securing 6A’s state title Saturday, a season after losing to Bingham in the 2020 championship contest.
“It feels euphoric. It’s awesome,” said Fremont senior Emma Calvert with a big smile. Calvert was dominant for Fremont, finishing with 30 points and 12 rebounds.
“Since last year’s heartache, these girls have poured their soul into this. For (the season) to end this way is pure sweet, because I’ve never coached a group that deserved it more. It has been such a beautiful journey this year.” — Fremont head coach Lisa Dalebout
“Since last year’s heartache, these girls have poured their soul into this,” said Fremont head coach Lisa Dalebout. “For (the season) to end this way is pure sweet, because I’ve never coached a group that deserved it more. It has been such a beautiful journey this year.”
The Silverwolves dominated the second half of play to cruise to a 63-43 victory over Herriman. Fremont held Herriman to 16% shooting in the second half and allowed zero Herriman field goals in the third quarter.
“We went into halftime and we were just really fierce, fired up and ready to go,” Calvert said when asked what changed for her team, which was trailing by a point at halftime. “We were ready to come back and take it to them. I don’t know if they knew what hit ‘em in third quarter.”
Fremont switched from man defense in the first half into a 2-3 zone for the second half. Dalebout said the change was made because Herriman was getting to the rim too easily.
Fremont, who had a huge height advantage with Calvert and sophomore Maggie Mendelson in the frontcourt, began using their size on the offensive end more in the second half. Mendelson and Calvert combined for 30 points in the second half, and 45 over the whole game — outscoring Herriman on their own. Calvert owned 21 of the 30 second half points scored by the frontcourt.
“I’ve never seen a high school player, from the moment she stepped into high school competition, be as consistent and tough in every facet of the game,” Dalebout said about Calvert. “The best ever. For reals. The most consistent player I’ve ever seen.”
Calvert will now move on from high school basketball and play at the next level for BYU.
“It’s been a cool experience to learn from her and be part of her team,” Mendelson said regarding her senior frontcourt counterpart.
Calvert finishes her career with two state championships, one in her freshman season and this one in her final game as a Silverwolf.
Nani Falatea, who led Herriman to the state title game in her first and final year playing for the Mustangs, finished with a team-high 15 points. Like most of her teammates, Falatea struggled to get things going in the second half, shooting 2 for 13 from the field in the final two periods.
Despite the shooting struggles, Herriman delivered a scrappy performance to say the least. The Mustangs played hard and forced 16 Fremont turnovers. Falatea forced a fourth of those turnovers with four steals.
“They played their guts out,” Dalebout said about Herriman’s performance. “Every single team that we’ve played in the state tournament has been hard. To be honest with you, I can’t remember a state tournament where teams played harder.”
Because of her and her team’s heartbreak in last year’s tournament, Dalebout said she could empathize with the Mustangs. She said that “what they’re feeling is the worst, but credit to them, they did a great job.”
While the season — and in some cases, the high school careers of some players — is over for Fremont, senior Halle Duft said that the journey of winning the title has created bonds that will undoubtedly stretch beyond this season.
“We’re sisters,” said Duft. “We’ve built such an amazing relationship. It’s so incredible to win with these girls that I get to call my ‘family.’”
Deseret News 6A All-Tournament Team
MVP: Emma Calvert, Fremont
Nani Falatea, Herriman
Kailey Woolston, Lone Peak
Maggie Mendelson, Fremont
Sierra Lichtie, Bingham
Lexi Jensen, Herriman