OREM — For the first five minutes Tuesday, it looked like Orem was going to run Olympus off the floor.
From that point on, however, the Titans settled down, adjusted, and ran away with a big 59-45 road win over Orem.
Alec Monson led the way for Olympus with a team-high 20 points, and he was key in bringing his team back from a monster early deficit. Jake Lindsey added 14 points for the Titans.
Right out of the gates, Olympus found itself down 9-0 at the 5:10 mark of the first quarter. The Tigers used an effective matchup zone to create turnovers, which led to a bevy of easy baskets.
Not happy with what he saw, Olympus coach Matt Barnes called a timeout.
“I just told the guys that this is a 32-minute game and a lot of things can happen,” Barnes said. “I guess it took me telling them a couple of times, but we adjusted and got going.”
Barnes’ second early timeout came after a Dalton Nixon 3-pointer put Orem up 16-3 with just less than four minutes remaining in the quarter. Barnes again encouraged his players to settle down and keep their heads up.
Coming out of the second timeout, the Titan players responded with an 8-0 run — punctuated with a rare four-point play from Monson — to cut Orem's lead to five points, 16-11.
Down 18-11 to start the second quarter, Olympus took its first lead at 24-22 with 4:05 remaining in the first half after a 3-pointer from Monson. Monson finished the half with 17 points and helped the Titans move out in front, 28-24, at the break.
Monson gave way to Lindsey to get the Titans jump-started in the second half.
The junior guard scored the first six points of the second half to help the Titans build a 34-24 lead.
“Jake always seems to come up big for us in games like this, and he did tonight,” Barnes said.
Orem wasn’t quite done, however, and responded with an 8-0 run to cut Olympus' lead to just two points, 34-32. Nixon accounted for all eight points during the run, and finished with a game-high 28 points.
Olympus then finished the third with a 7-0 burst to enter the fourth up 41-32.
From there the Titans quickly built a double-digit lead and never looked back — coasting to an impressive road win.
“I’m very pleased with how we responded after getting down so big early to a tough opponent on the road,” Barnes said. “I really wasn’t expecting us to get down like we did, but we fought back and it started on the defensive end. I’m really happy with our defensive pressure and it carried over to the offense.”
With the win, Olympus (15-2) maintained its spot on top of Region 7 with a perfect 6-0 record. Next up for the Titans is a home game against Skyline next Tuesday.
Orem (8-8) falls to 3-2 in region play with the loss and will next host Skyline this Thursday.
Email: email@example.com Twitter: @BrandonCGurney
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company