High school boys basketball: Mountain View denies Olympus chance to clinch region crown
SALT LAKE CITY — Olympus’ region title celebration is going to have to wait.
On a night when the Titans could’ve clinched the Region 7 crown on their home floor, Mountain View played spoiler with a strong performance offensively and defensively on its way to an impressive 67-55 victory Tuesday night.
Ryan Warner and Spencer Conrad combined for 48 points to pace Mountain View to the surprising double-digit victory over 4A’s second-ranked team, a win that will definitely turn some heads.
“People who follow basketball understand how difficult it is to win on the road against a team like Olympus. It should open eyes,” said Mountain View coach Nate Carling, whose team improved to 16-4 with the win. “I told the guys, ‘Let’s send a message for the state tournament that no one wants to play Mountain View.’”
Olympus certainly got the message.
The Titans can still secure the region title with a season-ending win against Orem on Friday, but Mountain View made sure they won't finish with an undefeated region record.
Tied 31-31 at halftime, Mountain View never trailed in the second half and started to pull away for good early in the fourth quarter on back-to-back 3-pointers by Conrad that extended the Bruins' lead to 52-45 with 5:47 remaining.
“In the gym he’s the best 3-pointer shooter we’ve got. We’ve really got on him the last couple weeks to shoot them,” said Carling.
Even early in Tuesday’s game, after Conrad passed up an open 3-point look, Carling quickly got after him, saying those are the shots he needs to take on such a big stage.
Olympus’ Seth Crofts responded to Conrad’s two 3s with a driving layup to cut the lead to 52-47, an insignificant bucket in the big picture but a very noteworthy moment in the game.
Prior to Crofts’ layup, Alec Monson and Jake Lindsey had scored all 45 of Olympus' points. They finished the game scoring 47 of the Titans’ 55 points.
“If you look at their box scores, they’ve had a third guy score 20 almost every night,” said Carling. “Monson and Lindsey, they get their combined 50 points almost every night. They’re great basketball players, but tonight we were able to keep the ball in their hands and the other guys never got into a rhythm.”
As a team Olympus shot 20 of 49 (40 percent) from the field, with Lindsey and Monson going a combined 17 of 36 and everyone else 3 for 13.
After Crofts’ initial layup cut the deficit to 52-47, Mountain View responded with a 10-0 run over a span of 2:34 to put the game out of reach.
“It gives us confidence and some energy going into the state tournament that’s coming up,” said Warner, who led the Bruins with 26 points.
Mountain View had Olympus on the ropes in the fourth quarter in an earlier region meeting in January, but the Bruins were miserable against Oly’s full-court press down the stretch and failed to protect the lead.
The Bruins made a concerted effort to attack the press more intelligently this time around, which paid off as they only committed three fourth-quarter turnovers.
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