Ririe's Maggie Ball blocks North Fremont's Adrianne Nedrow.

ABOVE: Ririe’s Maggie Ball blocks North Fremont’s Adrianne Nedrow. LEFT: Teton’s Grace Hogan takes a shot between Snake River defenders in the 3A state semifinals.

Before Feb. 10, the North Fremont girls basketball team hadn’t beaten Ririe since 2013 when the Huskies beat the Bulldogs to secure a spot in the state title game.

The Huskies toppled the Bulldogs on Thursday night in perhaps the biggest game the two teams have played since, beating the Bulldogs 36-27 in overtime.

The win sets up an if-necessary game Saturday at South Fremont to determine the conference tournament champion. Both teams have already earned berths to the 2A state tournament, but Saturday’s winner gets the district’s top seed.

“We knew all season that we could play to the level that we played tonight and I think we just came in here with confidence and just did what we knew we could do all along,” North Fremont senior guard Graycee Litton said.

North Fremont trailed for nearly every minute of the first three quarters. The teams traded leads in the fourth quarter before the game headed to overtime tied at 27-27.

Litton hit a 3-pointer a minute and half into overtime that spurred a 9-0 overtime run.

North Fremont head coach Ben Lenz said defense and rebounding provided the keys that helped the Huskies muzzle the Bulldogs.

“(They) just (did) all the gritty things,” Lenz said. “Things that are sometimes uncoachable. The kids just step and find that extra effort to make the play in the moment.”

North Fremont outrebounded Ririe for the first time this season and the Bulldogs were 0 for 15 from three.

“We just put the pressure on,” Litton said. “We’ve always known that defense could be a strong point for us with the guards we have. We really have just been focusing on that a lot this season and did what we’ve been practicing.”

Emrie Lenz led North Fremont with 10 points, Litton added eight points and Hallie Orme added seven points.

Maggie Ball led Ririe with eight points and Bri Scott scored seven points. Breyer Newman and Madi Andreason added six points apiece.

Litton believes Saturday’s game will come down to belief.

“I think we’ve just got to play like we did tonight,” Litton said. “We just need to believe we can do it and believe in each other. It all just comes down to confidence and who wants it more. And I think we do.”

By KOSTER KENNARD

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