SALT LAKE CITY — Olympus did a lot of chasing during Wednesday's 4A state quarterfinal match against Orem and finally managed to catch the Tigers for good toward the end to come away with a hard-earned 50-46 win.
From the outset, the Tigers jumped to leads which the Titans had to respond to time and again. Such was the course of the game ... until the end of the third quarter, stretching into the duration of the fourth quarter, when Titan players finally decided they'd had enough.
Orem's final run was a 7-0 spurt midway through the third quarter to put the Titans down 33-26 as the quarter came to a close.
Then Olympus responded quickly with consecutive 3-pointers made by Nate Fox and then Jeremy Dowdell to cut the lead to just 33-32 entering the fourth quarter.
Dowdell then added another 3-pointer in the opening minutes of the fourth, which paired with a bucket from Isaac Monson to give the Titans a 37-33 lead.
“We were down on the ropes down seven,” said Olympus senior Miles Keller. “It was kind of sketchy, so luckily we had Nate Fox, our point guard, and he had a great game. He hit some big shots for us and then (Dowdell), our freshman — he hit some big shots. And then our bigs — Isaac (Monson) and Matt (Lindsey) — they did really, really well. I’m happy to get the win. It was awesome.”
Fox ended the game with a team-high 14 points, earning him praise for Olympus coach Matt Barnes.
“How ‘bout my boy, Nate Fox? He was tremendous,” Barnes said. “He just does all the dirty work for us. He (typically) doesn’t score a lot, but that’s the dynamic of our team.”
Orem wasn't done, however, and did manage to retake the lead at 41-40 midway through the fourth courtesy of two big 3-pointers from Ross Reeves. Olympus then answered with a big 6-0 run to take back command, leading 46-41 with just under two minutes remaining.
The Tigers kept coming, but narrowly missed some open looks down the stretch as Olympus marched on to the semifinal round.
“Give credit to my guys, they hung in there,” Barnes said. “They slowed back down, made a couple of plays and we got lucky on a few 3s at the end — they got some good looks to tie it and the game’s never over until it’s over.”
Other standouts for the Titans included Dowdell, who finished with nine points on three 3-point buckets, Isaac Monson, who fought foul trouble but still finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, and Matt Lindsey, who chipped in seven points while managing seven steals.
Orem was led by Will Clark, who scored a game-high 15 points and Reeves, who scored 12 on four 3-pointers.
With the win, Olympus advances to the semifinal round where it will take on Woods Cross on Friday.