Olympus star guard Jake Lindsey sat on the bench, the black cast on his right hand weighing heavy in his lap. He watched his teammates zip around the Huntsman Center floor, knowing he should have been with them.
"I was really emotional. It was a tough thing," he said. "Those are my guys in there."
Olympus 71, Sky View 50
» Alec Monson scores 29 points and grabs 12 rebounds to lead Olympus
» Olympus star Jake Lindsey missed the game with a broken hand, but the Titans rallied without him
» Olympus pulls away in the second half, outscoring the Bobcats by 18
But the Titans — for one game at least — didn’t need the leadership of Lindsey, who broke his hand during practice Friday. They overcame a cold start to down defending state champ Sky View on Monday in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament.
"We just tried to ignore [Lindsey’s absence], block it out and focus on playing the game," said Alec Monson, the Titans’ other star. "We just worry about what we can control."
Lindsey’s injury was the latest blow in a difficult stretch for the Titans. First they forfeited four games for using an academically ineligible player. Then they lost their last two games, dropping them to Region 7’s No. 3 seed.
"It’s been a rough two or three weeks," Barnes said. "We had such a great year going, and my kids have been phenomenal all year. ... But it just kind of snowballed."
But the Titans banded together when they found out Monday morning that Lindsey would be out for the rest of the season. They had a playoff game to play, and that was more important than the status of a single player.
"That’s what I reminded them," Lindsey said. "They didn’t come all this way to give up because one guy got hurt. There’s a lot of great players on that team."
It took a while for the Titans to find their rhythm once the game started. But then Monson began heating up, finishing with 29 points to go with 12 rebounds. And the other players did their part, as several players finished above their season averages.
"We didn’t need to make up 20 or 30 [points]," Monson said about replacing Lindsey’s production. "We just needed to make up 15 or so. We knew we’d lose a little bit with him not being there, obviously, because he’s one of the best players in the state. But we just needed to strap it on and lock down on defense."
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