BOUNTIFUL — Fremont’s Shelbee Molen waited on the bench, anxiously wanting to contribute as she encouraged her teammates in the second quarter against Viewmont.
Molen watched helplessly as the Wolves’ lead steadily dissipated, but with two fouls, Fremont coach Lisa Dalebout had no other option than to rest her leading scorer.
“I stayed in it in my mind,” explained Molen, who entered Friday’s touted matchup as the state’s sixth-leading scorer at 20.6 points per game. “I paid attention and I had faith in my teammates that they could do it too, so I was still playing through them.”
With her team clinging to a one-point advantage early in the third quarter, Molen lost her defender in the shuffle, faded out behind the arc, and without hesitation buried a 3-pointer. The sequence eventually propelled the No. 2 Silver Wolves past the No. 4-ranked Vikings, 67-47.
“Viewmont, it’s almost impossible to win on their home court,” Dalebout said. “They’re really well-coached and they have two of the best players that we’re going to see all year. I felt like the girls responded really nicely at everything that was thrown at them.”
Dalebout was referring to Viewmont’s Caitlyn Larsen (19.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Katie Toole (15.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg), who account for 64 percent of the Vikings’ offensive production.
Fremont (10-1) collapsed its defense around the two stars and forced others to make plays. In the second quarter, Viewmont’s Collette West answered the challenge with nine points, including two 3-pointers.
“I think we kind of let down on defense in the second quarter and it showed that we can’t let down and it’s going to be a battle the whole game,” Molen said. “We stepped it up in the second half.”
After West connected on three straight free throws with 10.3 seconds left, and Fremont missed the front end of a one-and-one situation, Larsen traveled coast to coast and sank a leaning 3 as time expired to end the first half trailing by one, 30-29.
“I think we got really frustrated with some of the things we couldn’t control,” Dalebout said. “We talked about making adjustments and taking care of the things we could control: taking care of the ball better and rebounding better.”
Fremont built a 21-8 lead after the first eight minutes with an 8-0 run to end the quarter. After Molen connected on a runner in the lane, Viewmont (7-5) coach Clint Straatman was whistled for his first of two technical fouls (he was ejected after throwing a water bottle with 4:26 remaining in the fourth). Molen promptly hit the two freebies and Melanie Graves added a mid-range jumper. Then, as time expired, Amanda Wayment chipped in another layup.
Eight points in less than 50 seconds.
“I really respect Clint,” Dalebout said. I think we’re very similar — very outspoken, demonstrative type of people. I respect his passion and how bad he wants his girls to succeed.”
Apart from the Molen-less second quarter, Fremont dominated in virtually every statistical category, which Dalebout credited to the efficiency on the defensive end.
“We’ve played some quality opponents this year, but to come in and get one on the road is going to be great for us, our confidence and everything,” Dalebout said.
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