A game like this you have to be tough, you have to fight through fouls, and you have to fight through and make free throws. —Copper Hills coach Andrew Blanchard
SALT LAKE CITY — When the dust had cleared following a 65-53 win for Copper Hills over Fremont, Grizzlies coach Andrew Blanchard stared at the stat sheet and a whopping 66 percent field goal percentage came staring back. The Grizzlies made 6-12 3-pointers and 17-22 free throws to advance to the semifinals of the 6A state tournament, where they will meet Pleasant Grove on Friday.
Junior forward Trevon Allfrey led all scorers with 31 points, making 11 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off any kind of rally from the Silver Wolves.
“A couple weeks ago we kind of fixed a little problem and then I just had some confidence,” Allfrey said. “I just told myself I was going to make the next one the next time I got up there.”
Leading 25-19 at the half, Copper Hills watched as Fremont closed the gap to 38-36 on a Kyler Bush free throw. With Fremont applying pressure through much of the fourth quarter, Blanchard said his team toughened up and made the plays down the stretch they needed to.
“We try to focus on what we can control, and Jake (Jacob Jensen) and some of our guys really tried to fight through it,” Blanchard said. “A game like this you have to be tough, you have to fight through fouls, and you have to fight through and make free throws.”
Fremont jumped out to a 4-0 lead on baskets from Baylor Harrop and Bush. And then Corey Melaney’s crew went cold. So cold in fact, by the time they scored again, Copper Hills had ripped off an 18-0 run.
“We just tried to locate their shooters,” Blanchard said. “Dallin Hall is a pretty dang good player, and they had the ball in his hands so much it was hard to make sure he doesn’t score and keep track of where he’s passing the ball.”
Allfrey put the Grizzlies on the board at the 5:04 mark with a 3-pointer. Dallin Mildenhall canned another long ball and Bryan Holgate a 2-pointer. By the time the first quarter ended, the Grizzlies led 14-4.
After letting the lead balloon to 18-4, Fremont broke an eight-minute scoring drought when Clint Anderson buried a 3-pointer.
“Coach Melaney does a great job in knowing what our guys could do, so we subbed in one of our better shooters, Dallin Mildenhall, and he stepped up, made a three and got them out of their zone early,” Blanchard said.
Leading 40-36 entering the final period, Allfrey put the Grizzlies on his back. The 6-foot-6 forward converted a 3-point play, knocked down an 8-foot jump hook and buried free throw after free throw as the Grizzlies extended their lead down the stretch.
For Allfrey, reaching the semifinals at the state tournament is becoming a regular March rite of passage.
“It’s pretty fun for me being there the last two years, last year as a starter and the year before as a freshman,” Allfrey said. “It’s nothing like you are going to see the rest of the season.”
For Fremont, the Region 1 champs ended their season at 18-6. The Silver Wolves shot 38 percent for the game and knocked down just 6-13 free throws. Harrop led Fremont with 15 points while sophomore sensation Dallin Hall got hot late and finished with 14 points.
For Copper Hills, 16-8, a Friday evening semifinal matchup looms with Pleasant Grove. The other semifinal will feature Lone Peak against Layton.