Another challenger steps up, another victim goes down.
As has been the case 25 other times this season, Olympus stepped on a basketball court and dismissed an opponent. While the stakes are getting higher, Friday’s game was a Class 5A state semifinal, the margin of victory is staying large for the Titans.
Olympus (26-0) cruised by Bountiful 79-43 to advance to a state championship game for a third year in a row.
“Corner Canyon has got a lot of talent, a lot of guys. It’ll be a fun battle tomorrow,” said Titans junior point guard Rylan Jones after the 36-point win. He is committed to the University of Utah.
The spread between the two teams gradually worked into double digits in the second quarter and stayed that way after a 10-2 run to end the period.
Jones, who finished with 17 points, was the catalyst to that run as he beat the Braves’ defense for a solo fastbreak and a 31-20 lead then raced ahead to find teammate Jeremy DowDell for another layin at the 3:33 mark.
“They were just trying to hound us and full-court press us,” Jones said. “Usually the best way to attack it is just beat it right away and get in the lanes because they’ve got to try to come help you.”
Jones found Harrison Creer and Spencer Jones for open looks behind the 3-point arc with the Titans steadily increasing the lead in the third quarter. In both instances, Rylan Jones made offensive moves in the lane to juke defenders before dishing out.
Creer’s trey from the corner it 48-27 and Spencer Jones popped another 3-pointer for a 54-29 margin a few possessions later.
“I always feel like I need to make it,” Spencer Jones said about his teammates’ drive-and-dishes. “Because he makes those good moves, and he’s our offense. A lot of the points I get are because of him.”
Jeremy DowDell finished with 26 points to lead all players, while fellow Olympians Spencer Jones and Creer added 13 apiece.
Bountiful (12-13) started the game with guard Camron Chism knocking down a pair of long 3-pointers. Brig Willard, who led Bountiful with 17 points, did his best to help the Braves keep pace by making mid-range shots.
Willard connected on three of those in the third quarter, but the Titans had three 3-pointers in the same stretch of play.
“I think it really helped us take them seriously,” Spencer Jones said about Bountiful’s offense. “There’s times where [opponents] have come out hot at the beginning and we’ve just learned to keep our composure.”
Olympus, which won the Class 4A state championship in 2016 then lost in the 2017 4A title game, will take on Corner Canyon for the Class 5A crown at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Huntsman Center.
“These guys are just so cool, so calm and so confident. It’s been an unbelievable year,” Olympus coach Matt Barnes said. “To run the table and get this far is incredible. We’re gonna give it a go tomorrow and try to finish it.”