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North Fremont falls in 2A opening round to Bear Lake, 60-40

North Fremont’s Garrett Hawkes shoots in Friday’s opening round 2A state tournament game against Bear Lake at Capital High School in Boise. Photo by Stan Brewster

By JEFF PAPWORTH
Idaho State Journal

BOISE – Bear Lake coach Brandon Carlsen said his team could have played better on defense, which was technically true.

Four times this season the Bears held their opponent to a lower total than Thursday at Capital High School, but not one of those were in the 2A state tournament, like Bear Lake’s 60-40 stifling win over North Fremont in the opening round.

“That’s the coach in me,” said Carlsen, whose team faces Declo in the semifinals. “If you asked the kids, they would say the same thing. I just thought we gave up some easy points.”

The Bears still looked at home from the start of their hunt for a second consecutive state title, jumping out to an 8-0 lead by the midway point of the first quarter and never falling behind in the game.

Bear Lake’s defense was too good and rebounding was too unrelenting.

The Bears (22-3), who are allowing 46.9 points per game, had one blip in the second quarter when North Fremont scored 16 points, but the Huskies (13-13) compiled no more than 11 points in any other quarter. Plus, Bear Lake held North Fremont’s Garrett Hawkes to four points after scoring 40 in a 65-59 loss to Ririe in the 2A District 6 title game on Feb. 21.

“Houston Peterson was awesome on Hawkes,” Carlsen said. “He worked his butt off. He’s a good matchup with him, and they got after each other.”

Peterson’s reservoir of energy was high enough to contribute fully in other areas, tallying a game-high 14 points and four rebounds. The senior showed his range in the middle of the game, knocking down 3-pointers to up the lead to 23-13 and 34-24.

If he missed – no problem. The Bears collected 25 of their 33 failed shots on the offensive glass. Near the middle of the third quarter, they pulled down four offensive rebounds on one possession before forward Zack Petersen sank two free throws to put his team ahead 31-24.

“Our whole team has a mentality of going 100 percent,” Peterson said. “When we see a loose ball, we get to it.”

The four-rebound possession was a part of a 24-5 second-half run by Bear Lake, which extended a 27-24 lead to a 51-29 blowout by the beginning of the final quarter. The onslaught was capped by a Petersen three-point play that followed Avery Carlsen’s backcourt steal.

As disruptive as Bear Lake was with its stifling defense and persistent rebounding, North Fremont coach Bryan Miller said his team was also knocked off kilter by officiating. Hawkes had two fouls 3 minutes, 42 seconds into the game and was tagged with his third less than two minutes into the second half. He logged 17:34 of playing time, the fifth-most on his team.

“It’s hard to get your momentum when you’re sitting on the bench,” Miller said. “We could have scored. We could have played some better defense. But we didn’t feel like the calls were necessarily in our favor today and sometimes that happens.”

The Huskies will continue their first state tournament appearance since 2014 against Cole Valley in the consolation at Capital High School.

“We’re not done,” Miller said. “We’ll improve and reduce the mistakes made today, so we can bring home the consolation trophy.”

BEAR LAKE 60, NORTH FREMONT 40
North Fremont 6 16 7 11 – 40
Bear Lake 12 15 15 18 – 60
NORTH FREMONT (40) – Luke Hill 2, Jordan Hess 3, Blake Oberhansley 2, Bridger Lenz 4, Chris Hansen 8, Tyler Shuldberg 3, Garrett Hawkes 4, Paul Wynn 4, Peyton Litton 8, Tatyn Hess 2. FG: 15-50. FT: 6-10. 3-pointers: 4-17 (Hansen 2-10, Litton 2-2). Total fouls: 17. Fouled out: none.
BEAR LAKE (60) – Trey Shaul 9, James Alleman 1, Walt Schwarting 4, Hayden Peterson 12, Avery Carlsen 10, Houston Peterson 14, McKay Alleman 1, Zack Petersen 9. FG: 21-54. FT: 14-23. 3-pointers: 4-14 (Shaul 1-2, Carlsen 1-4, Houston Peterson 2-5). Total fouls: 13. Fouled out: none.

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