Holladay • He’s only a junior, but Olympus basketball player Jeremy DowDell already has been exposed to a well-worn bit of wisdom about undefeated teams entering the postseason.

You know, the one about how it’s good to get a loss going into the playoffs rather than carry the burden — and pressure — of staying perfect all the way to a championship.

“We’re not worried about that. Ever since the first few games of the season, we were 5-0, 10-0, 15-0, we’ve always had a target on our back,” DowDell said. “After every single win, the target just kept getting bigger.

“People have said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if you would lose a game? Get that target off your back?’ Well for us, I think we embrace it.”

DowDell, who is averaging 21 points a game, is a big part of one of those rare unbeaten teams that has made it through the regular season without a blemish.

In fact, Olympus essentially has cruised through its schedule.

The narrowest victory was three games into the season when the Titans beat Bingham by four points. Only one other time, a 76-59 win over Orem in January, has the margin been less than 10 points.

Since Bingham is in Class 6A and Orem resides in Class 4A, neither of those games seem to portend any particular problems for the Titans in the Class 5A playoffs.

Then again, Olympus was a strong favorite a season ago before getting shocked by an upstart Springville team in the state championship game.

And when the Titans have been involved in a rare close game, coach Matt Barnes has shown a propensity to stick with his five starters and maybe one off the bench for the entire 32 minutes.

So foul trouble might be an issue in the playoffs, but DowDell thinks the Titans will be able to adjust.

“I think typically we all stay out of foul trouble, but if it comes down to it and we have a bunch of dudes in foul trouble, that is a problem for sure,” he said. “We also have tons of depth, I think, with some younger guys coming off the bench.”

DowDell is the leading scorer for the Titans, whose offensive engine is run by point guard Rylan Jones, a University of Utah recruit. Fellow starters Harrison Creer (17.9 ppg) and Spencer Jones (10.7) also are averaging in double figures, while the fifth starter is none other than Jeremy’s older brother, senior Jacob DowDell.

The Titans have lit up the scoreboard at times, most notably a two-game region stretch where Olympus laid 106 points against Skyline and did it three days later against West.

Jeremy DowDell scored 35 points against the Eagles in the first contest, while Rylan Jones poured in 32 against the Panthers.

With all those points being registered, DowDell doesn’t pretend not to know his numbers.

“We have a statistician at school, and he tells us. We have people telling me I’m leading the state in 3s,” DowDell said. “That’s really cool, but obviously the thing that matters most is that we’re 23-0.”

Olympus won the Class 4A state title in 2016 and brought home the first boys’ basketball trophy in school history. After last year’s run to the finals, Olympus moved up to Class 5A when the state’s high schools expanded to six classifications.

The Titans play Brighton in Monday’s first round of the state tournament, and Barnes will be looking for his shooter to do his thing.

“As good a shooter as he is, he needs to look for his shot. Sometimes I need to get after him because he’s turning down shots,” Barnes said. “I just think you have to play to your strength and take advantage of it.”

And if defenders move far out to cover DowDell’s extensive range — “It’s kind of a scary thought. Sometimes you think he’s shooting from 30, the next time it’s from 35,” Barnes said — there’s a downside to that because DowDell can go by opponents to the basket.

DowDell hit a pair of treys early then attacked the hoop, eventually finishing with 34 points against Orem.

“Their philosophy and strategy was to kind of get up on him and force him to drive,” Barnes said. “Then he got four or five layups and they were like, ‘Holy cow, we didn’t know he had that as part of his game.’

“He’s really a unique player. He has a great attitude and loves to be in the gym. Obviously, he has God-given talent, but he’s one that really works on it.”


Tuesday’s first round

at Weber State

2:30 p.m. • Copper Hills vs. Bingham

4:10 p.m. • Fremont vs. Hillcrest

5:50 p.m. • Kearns vs. Weber

7:30 p.m. • Pleasant Grove vs. West Jordan

at Utah Valley University

2:30 p.m. • Granger vs. Davis

4:10 p.m. • Lone Peak vs. Herriman

5:50 p.m. • Riverton vs. Westlake

7:30 p.m. • Layton vs. Cyprus

at University of Utah

State quarterfinals • Thursday

State semifinals • Friday

State title game • 1 p.m. Saturday


Monday’s first round

at Weber State

2:30 p.m. • Box Elder vs. Provo

4:10 p.m. • Highland vs. Corner Canyon

5:50 p.m. • Viewmont vs. Springville

7:30 p.m. • Olympus vs. Brighton

at Utah Valley University

2:30 p.m. • Jordan vs. East

4:10 p.m. • Timpanogos vs. Roy

5:50 p.m. • Timpview vs. Skyline

7:30 p.m. • Skyridge vs. Bountiful

at University of Utah

State quarterfinals • Wednesday

State semifinals • Friday

State title game • 11 a.m. Saturday


At Utah Valley University

Thursday’s state quarterfinals

9:30 a.m. • Hurricane vs. Juan Diego

11:10 a.m. • Desert Hills vs. Orem

12:50 p.m. • Dixie vs. Salem Hills

2:30 p.m. • Payson vs. Sky View

State semifinals • Friday

State title game • 1:15 p.m. Saturday


at Richfield High School

Wednesday’s first round

10 a.m. • Monticello vs. Intermountain Christian

11:30 a.m. • Manila vs. Milford

1 p.m. • Wendover vs. Tabiona

2:30 p.m. • Bryce Valley vs. Monument Valley

4 p.m. • Tintic vs. Water Canyon

5:30 p.m. • Panguitch vs. Pinnacle

7 p.m. • Wayne vs. Valley

8:30 p.m. • Rich vs. Piute

at Sevier Valley Center in Richfield

State quarterfinals • Thursday

State semifinals • Friday

State title game • 6:30 p.m. Saturday


at Utah Valley University

Thursday’s state quarterfinals

4:10 p.m. • Lehi vs. Desert Hills

5:50 p.m. • Hurricane vs. Mountain View

7:30 p.m. • Cedar City vs. Salem Hills

9:10 p.m. • Spanish Fork vs. Logan

State semifinals • Friday

State title game • 11 a.m. Saturday


at Sevier Valley Center in Richfield

Wednesday’s first round

10 a.m. • Wayne vs. Bryce Valley

11:30 a.m. • Rich vs. Tintic

1 p.m. • Wendover vs. Manila

2:30 p.m. • Panguitch vs. Green River

4 p.m. • Milford vs. Whitehorse

5:30 p.m. • Piute vs. Monticello

7 p.m. • Monument Valley vs. Valley

8:30 p.m. • Tabiona vs. West Ridge

State quarterfinals • Thursday

State semifinals • Friday

State title game • 4:30 p.m. Saturday