The prognosis wasn’t good for the Fremont Silverwolves.
Despite having only three losses on the season, Fremont went into the Class 6A boys basketball championship game as a decided underdog. The 'Wolves, after all, suffered two of those losses against region rival Davis and the last defeat was by a 36-point margin.
So what of it?
Fremont on Saturday got the ultimate revenge by beating the Darts 55-52 behind double-figure scoring from four players.
“When you play a rival in a state championship, that’s even more of a big game,” said Silverwolves senior Baylor Harrop, who scored 10 points. “All of us are going to remember this for the rest of our lives.”
“We have the toughest region, in my opinion. To be able to play these guys, we circled it after that last loss; they really gave it to us,” Fremont’s Dallin Hall said. “This is huge. It means so much to all of us.”
Davis (23-2), whose only prior loss was to Layton, experienced precious little time even holding a lead against Fremont (23-3) this time around. In fact, the Darts’ biggest lead of two points was attained twice and Fremont never trailed from the moment when Tige Vorhees was fouled on a 3-point attempt midway through the fourth quarter.
Vorhees, part of an all-senior starting lineup, hit all three chances for a 34-32 advantage.
But the game continued to be close to the very end.
Three times in the fourth quarter, Davis hit buckets to tie the game. The Darts were led by Spencer Vernon's 17 points with another 16 from Trevan Leonhardt.
FREMONT 55, DAVIS 52
• Dallin Hall scores 18 points as Fremont takes its first state championship since 2005.
• Davis, seeking its seventh overall title, was led by 17 points from Spencer Vernon and 16 from Trevan Leonhardt.
• Fremont wins the third meeting between the two region rivals after Davis took the first two.By Eric Butler
On a dish from Hall, Fremont's scoring leader with 18, Harrop hit a shot with 1:53 remaining for a 53-51 lead. After a missed Vernon attempt on the other end, Harrop then extended the lead to four with another bucket.
Leonhardt got a point back on a free throw with :44 left to make the score 55-52, but he missed the second and Harrop gathered in the rebound. Harrop, however, was poked in the eye with ball in hand and was then tied up by Davis for a jump ball — and a possession arrow in the Darts’ favor.
"I heard a couple of people trying to yell timeout, but they were kind of right on the ball," Harrop said.
But the Fremont defense held out as Davis' only shot attempt the rest of the way was a three by Dylan Perrenoud with two seconds left. The errant attempt was gathered in by the Silverwolves, who claimed the school's first state crown since 2005 and only the second overall.
"This is a dream come true with all my brothers," Hall said. "I'll remember this for life."
Mitch Stratford helped the Fremont cause with 11 points while Vorhees contribued 10. The fifth starter, Kipp Calder, scored six and reserve Talmage Mitchell made a key steal late in the third on one play and then an assist to Stratford for another bucket moments later.
Despite only sending in a limited number of players into the game, Fremont coach Corey Melaney said the difference between this matchup and the last with the Darts was more availability on his side.
"You know, we're healthy. I hate to say it, but Mitch Stratford was never healthy and still not one hundred percent," Melaney said. "Nobody has the flu.
“When we’re healthy, we’re pretty dang good,” the Silverwolves’ coach added. “This is so great, so happy for these guys, for our community.”