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High school basketball: Olympus holds on to beat Logan in 4A tournament

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 22 2011 8:58 p.m. MST

TAYLORSVILLE — The Olympus Titans were getting a little frantic.

Logan High jumped out in a full-court press midway through the fourth quarter, instantly resulting in a 10-0 run, and the Titans froze up.

"(Logan) started putting pressure on us and we panicked," Olympus coach Kael Ashton said. "I just told them to calm down, to get back to our game and what was working."

His team tried that, and ultimately held on for the 47-37 win in the first round of the 4A state tournament at Salt Lake Community College Tuesday evening.

The Titans started the game by pulling away steadily throughout the first two quarters, holding an 11-point lead by halftime. They then grabbed complete control of the contest with a commanding run of their own to start the third period.

Jennifer Nichols hit a long and contested 3-pointer and then added a steal and a fast break layup to start the half, putting Olympus up 30-14.

"She's a shooter," Ashton said of the junior guard, who finished with 13 points. "She can score with the best of them. She has a great stroke and really played well today."

The Titans continued to score at ease, posting a 12-2 run and holding the Grizzlies to just two free throws over the first seven minutes of the third quarter.

That's about when the Grizzlies began to respond.

Bezait Anbesse, who scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half, and Kaylee Merrill, who finished with 11 points and contributed seven of those in the late resurgence, led the Grizzlies in scoring. Sophomore Lauren Mott scored 10 points in the loss.

Logan pulled to within six points during the fourth, and it wasn't until there was just one minute left in the game that Olympus woke back up.

Junior Morgan Oliphant — who finished with six points — hit a free throw with 50 seconds on the clock, and then Nichols hit three more to put a stop to any thoughts of a Grizzly upset.

"Except for a few minutes in the fourth quarter, I thought we executed really well," Ashton said. "The whole game we played hard, we battled hard, and we stuck with it even when they rallied."

Olympus moves on to a second-round showdown with Maple Mountain, a team they have already lost to once this year. That game will tip off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

"It'll be a good game, it'll be fast and physical," Ashton said. "This is a fun time of year."

e-mail: sthomas@desnews.com

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