Holladay • Rylan Jones did plenty just to get near the basket at the end of the first half Friday night.
First, the all-everything Olympus junior guard gave the slip to one Layton defender at the top of the key then some sharp misdirection left another at the free-throw line.
But all of the options still hadn’t been exhausted.
“End of the half and we wanted to get a good shot,” he said. “A guy stepped out, and I split him and I could have shot a contested layup, but I saw my guy in the corner and we want open 3s. They’re worth more than two.”
Jones, who has committed to the University of Utah, zipped a pass to the right corner and Jacob DowDell drained his open trey as time ran out.
That gave Olympus a 15-point halftime lead en route to a 72-58 victory over the Lancers.
Jones said that while scoring brings a certain amount of satisfaction, nothing beats the charge he gets from making that kind of pass.
“Way better than scoring,” he said. “As long as it goes in, it’s crazy.”
Of course, Jones did do more than his fair share of scoring on this night. His 28 points paced Olympus (2-0), while the Titans also got 21 from Harrison Creer and 12 from DowDell.
Olympus fell to Springville in a shocking Class 4A state championship overtime loss in March. That kept the Titans, who won the title in 2016, from repeating.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever get that one out of our system,” Olympus coach Matt Barnes said. “But we’re back to make another run at it. That’s our attitude this year.”
“We’re different. We’re more versatile than we were last year,” Jones said. “We don’t have as much size, but more playmaking. Just a bunch of good players who can do a lot of different things.”
An 18-13 Titans lead at the end of the first quarter was whittled down to one when Layton, led by Skyler Turner’s 20 points, got inside scores from Ethan Potter and Collin Jeppson to start the second.
Olympus gradually worked the advantage into double digits through the rest of the period. The closest Layton (1-2) could get in the second half was nine points, when the 6-foot-10 Jeppson made a pair of free throws with 1:23 left in the third.
But Jones immediately answered with a drive for a score then swished a free throw for a three-point play and a 51-39 advantage.
“We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities at the 3-point line like we normally would,” Lancers coach Kelby Miller said. “Even when we looked like we were going to lose the game, our guys kept battling.”
OLYMPUS 72, LAYTON 58
• Rylan Jones finishes with 28 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead Olympus.
• The Titans, who led from the midway point of the first quarter, also get 21 points from Harrison Creer and 12 from Jacob DowDell.
• Skyler Turner paces Layton with 20 points, while Ethan Potter (13 points) and Collin Jeppson (11) get into double figures as well.