Sugar-Salem's Kyzon Garner takes a jumper over the South Fremont defense.

Sugar-Salem’s Kyzon Garner takes a jumper over the South Fremont defense.

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Sugar-Salem came into Tuesday’s 3A district VI opener as the bottom seed in the conference but they sure didn’t look like the bottom seed. The Diggers played ahead for nearly the entire game to top South Fremont 57-48 in St. Anthony.

Sugar jumped out to 15-11 lead after one quarter then pulled away in the third quarter to take a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter.

The Cougars continued to pull away in the fourth until South Fremont went on a run of their own making for a high-scoring fourth quarter.

The once-struggling Sugar team played confidently throughout the night.

“We’re pretty young and we’ve had a lot of kids who have to grow up pretty fast — (we’re) playing sophomores and even juniors and seniors who haven’t played on a varsity team before,” said Sugar-Salem head coach Shawn Freeman. “We’ve been taking some lumps but we’ve been in a lot of games with some really good teams and come up short. We just knew that we could get something put together.”

South Fremont fans packed the gym at near pre-pandemic proportions.

“We knew that we’d have to come in to a hostile environment in South Fremont and beat them, knowing that if we beat them,we’d have to play, I would dare say one of the top two teams in the state,” said Sugar-Salem head coach Shawn Freeman.

Freeman said his team secured an important win in a district where anyone can win on any-given night.

“Obviously, it’s just one game, but it’s a good for momentum and for our kids to know that they can beat these teams that are in front of us,” Freeman said. “South and Teton have both been ranked high in the state all year for good reason. They’re both good teams and well-coached. We’ve believed in ourselves this whole year.”

Freeman believes his team getting rest tonight will be key as tonight’s emotional game is quickly followed by tomorrow’s district semi-final in Driggs.

Whether Sugar wins or loses tomorrow they’ll know where they stack up.

“You want a chance to play those types of teams (to) see where you’re at,” Freeman said. “We’re coming off one day, but it’s going to be a good test for our team. We’re going to have to use our whole squad and people are going to have to contribute in every facet (of the game).”

SUGAR-SALEM 57, SOUTH FREMONT 48

Sugar-Salem: 15 13 10 19—57

South Fremont: 11 14 6 17—48

Sugar-Salem: Crew Clark 10, Kyzon Garner 10, Christian Gordon 3, Toby Pinock 18, Ryken Clay 8, Ryan Harris 6, Kendle Harris 2

  • South Fremont: Dallin Orme 4, Bridger Erickson 4, Carsen Draper 7, Kaimen Peebles 15, Mason Siddoway 4, Larren Smith 3, Cooper Hurt 4, Tag Bair 7
  • South Fremont’s Tag Bair reached 1,000 points scored Tuesday. He now sits at 1,002 points for his high-school career.