SALT LAKE CITY — The Olympus Titans, aka the Golden State Warriors of Utah high school basketball, put on a show worthy of a state championship game on Saturday afternoon at the University of Utah.
The Titans capped a perfect 27-0 season with another dominating performance, overwhelming Corner Canyon for most of the game en route to the 76-49 5A state championship game victory at the Huntsman Center.
Olympus shot a staggering 68 percent in capturing its second state championship in the past three years.
“It’s been unbelievable just the way the percentages we’ve shot, the chemistry, the whole thing,” said Olympus coach Matt Barnes. "This is going to be a team you talk about. They just did it night in and night out. We met the challenge 27 times in a row with unbelievable results.”
Rylan Jones said the memory of losing last year’s championship in double overtime helped the Titans bury Corner Canyon early, as it built a 22-point halftime lead.
“Last year was a heartbreaker, and we just wanted to win this one and come out from the start like we’ve started every game this tournament, really good, and we did that tonight and we just kept riding it,” said Jones, who had another monster game with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists.
On its way to the title, Olympus etched its name in the record books.
Along with breaking the single season 3-pointers state record (283), and Jones breaking the single season state assists record (266), Olympus also scored more points in a single season than any team in state history, finishing with 2,275 points — an incredible 84.2 scoring average.
Like it’s done all 5A tournament, Olympus buried its opponent in the first half.
The Titans led at the half by 15, 24 and 17 points respectively in their first three playoff victories. On Saturday, the Titans jumped all over Corner Canyon for the 46-24 lead.
Olympus shot 70 percent in the first half, including making 5 of 8 3-pointers. It scored on nine straight trips down court during a first-quarter stretch as it built a 21-15 lead after the first quarter.
The Chargers held their own during the first quarter as they shot 54 percent with Blake Emery knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.
It got out of hand pretty quickly in the second quarter though. Olympus scored on 11 of 13 possessions in the quarter to stretch the lead to 22 points, as Harrison Creer led the way with 16 halftime points and Rylan Jones had 14.
It was the first time in nine state championship game appearances that Olympus has led at halftime. Its championship game record now stands at 2-7.
Creer said Olympus’s ability to bury teams early was a work in progress this season.
“I don’t know that it’s that easy. I think at the beginning of the year we kind of struggled at beginning of games, actually, and so we kind of challenged ourselves to get hard in practice. Mondays were a huge focus for us,” said Creer, who finished 21 points.
Jeremy Dowdell added 13 points for the Titans, who dominated the paint with a 46-18 scoring edge against Corner Canyon.
Many of those were the direct result of Jones's pushing the pace for Olympus, particularly on Corner Canyon missed shots.
“He’s unbelievable; he puts so much pressure on the defense. He is just so tough, and it all starts with him, and I was so proud of my other guys, just the toughness we brought defensively. Then we get it to him,” said Barnes.
Jones smiled when asked about winning the state title on the floor of the college team he’s verbally committed to.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s crazy, it’s a feeling I can’t even describe,” said Jones.
“We just came ready every day, we came to practice ready every day, got better every day. We did that and killed everybody every game,” said Jones.
Olympus’ final average margin of victory this season was a whopping 27.5 points