OGDEN — With its season on the line in the 5A boys basketball quarterfinals on Wednesday, Fremont turned it over four times, missed a lay-up and missed the front end of three 1-and-1 foul-shooting situations.
Here's the crazy thing — despite going scoreless over the final 4:47, the Silver Wolves still won.
West High also went scoreless over that same stretch, missing its final nine shots, as Fremont hung on for a wild 45-43 victory at the Dee Events Center.
"I know we move on, that's a good thing. Obviously it wasn't pretty, it was good enough tonight," said Fremont coach Corey Melaney.
West superstar guard Tyrell Corbin had three chances to tie the game in the final minute, including a contested lay-up in the final seconds. Fremont's Patrick Fishburn was convinced the shot was going in, but it hung on the rim before rolling off.
Fishburn could've made West's last possession of little consequence, but his foul shot with 9.5 seconds remaining was a little deep and the Panthers corralled the rebound.
"I actually thought I made it. So much adrenaline, just a little bit long. I should've taken a couple steps back," said Fishburn, who led Fremont with 19 points.
Ironically enough, Fishburn's 3-pointer with 4:47 remaining proved to be the game-winner. His angle-left 3 capped a 10-3 run by the 'Wolves to start the fourth quarter. Nobody could've imagined it would be the last basket of the game.
Even though Melaney couldn't really explain his team's poor offensive execution, he believes a switch to a 1-3-1 zone midway through the quarter really helped slow the Panthers.
A defensive switch was necessitated by some third-quarter sharpshooting by West, which outscored Fremont 20-9. The Panthers hit five 3-pointers in the quarter, two each by Corbin and Nate Levine, and another by Cheney Doane.
"I thought we did a pretty good job of their guards sagging. To their credit, (Corbin) gave it up and they knocked down some 3s and forced us to switch to a 1-3-1 zone," said Melaney.
Even though Corbin finished with 22 points, he and everyone else went cold against the zone.
"Winning a game here is so hard and getting to the semis back-to-back years is a great accomplishment for these kids. We're excited about that and we welcome the challenge that awaits us," said Melaney.
Fremont will face Lone Peak in the semifinals on Friday at 2:15 p.m.
With as well as Fremont shot the ball — 53 percent — it's amazing it didn't run away with the victory. Turnovers just killed the 'Wolves, however, as they coughed it up 18 times, including 11 in a first half.4 comments on this story
Most of the steals were the result of pressure defense on the perimeter by Corbin and Thomas Bullock.
"Their guards are very quick — quick hands, very active. To their credit, they probably forced a lot of those, but some of them were unforced errors on our part," said Melaney.
Corbin finished with six steals and six assists to go along with his game-high 22 points.