This was the best game for us so far in the preseason, just because it made us play a style that’s going to be played later on in the year and in region. It was a good win and good game for us to have. —Alta coach Jim Barker
SALT LAKE CITY — When Olympus sends out invitations to its boys basketball holiday tournament next year, you can bet Alta coach Jim Barker will be the first one to RSVP.
His Hawks felt right at home on Olympus’ home floor during tournament play Friday, beating both Cottonwood and Olympus and knocking down 20 combined 3-pointers in the process.
Alta's nightcap against Olympus was the marquee game of the tournament, and it certainly lived up to the hype in an entertaining back-and-fourth affair, with Alta eking out the 68-66 overtime victory.
“This was the best game for us so far in the preseason, just because it made us play a style that’s going to be played later on in the year and in region. It was a good win and good game for us to have,” said Alta coach Jim Barker.
After Olympus missed a running baseline jumper at the regulation buzzer that could’ve won it, Alta guard Trevor Hill hit a go-ahead, driving layup with 3.6 seconds remaining in overtime and then stole the ensuing inbounds pass to seal the victory.
“It was really fun. We like the close games, just glad we could pull it out for sure,” said Hill.
Hill finished with 20 points to lead Alta, with Elijah Glissmeyer adding 20 points of his own on six 3-pointers. Earlier in the day in a 64-40 victory over Cottonwood, Zach Rollins buried nine 3-pointers.
Rollins only finished with five points in the second game, but the extra defensive attention he received allowed Glissmeyer to go off for a career-high scoring total.
Four of Glissmeyer’s 3-pointers came in the first half as Alta built a 29-28 halftime lead in a first half that feature nine combined treys. The Titans leaned heavily on junior Jake Lindsey, who scored 16 of his game-high 25 points in that first half.
The teams traded runs in the third quarter, with Olympus opening on an 8-2 run only to see Alta respond with a 7-0 run behind dominant play from Taylor Albrecht, who scored 13 of Alta’s 15 points in the quarter.
Spencer Williams’ banked 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Titans a 47-44 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Olympus increased the lead to 52-47 early in the fourth, but Hill responded with a huge baseline 3-pointer to cut the lead to 52-50 and a minute later Glissmeyer connected again from long range to trim the lead to 56-55.
“Glissmeyer’s 3-point shooting was great. He was that ability, but I’ve never seen him quite like tonight,” said Barker.
Glissmeyer’s sixth 3-pointer at the 1:37 mark gave Alta its only lead in the fourth quarter at 61-60, but Lindsey quickly responded with points on consecutive possessions to push Olympus back ahead, 63-61.
Late in the fourth quarter both Albrecht and Olympus big man Alec Monson fouled out, but that paved the way for an unlikely clutch contributor from the Hawks with Chris Roberts tying the game on a pair of free throws with 30 seconds remaining — his only points of the game.
“It’s tough when good players from both teams go out of the game because of foul situations — it kind of changes what you want to do — but I was proud of the guys who came,” said Barker. “I thought (Roberts’) free throws were huge to tie the game up and give us a chance.”
Hill opened the overtime with a 3-pointer, which incredibly accounted for Alta’s only points in OT until Hill’s game-winner with 3.6 seconds remaining.
After Olympus made 1 of 2 free throws to tie the game with 1:35 left in overtime, Alta decided to work the ball around to play for the last shot, and Hill made the most of it.