OGDEN — At halftime in the Olympus-Timpanogos game, concern level was high for Titans head coach Matt Barnes.
Olympus' high-powered offense had been held to just 16 points in the first half, and the Titans trailed by 10. Olympus stars Rylan Jones and Jeremy DowDell had combined for just eight points. The Timberwolves were executing their game plan perfectly, being patient and waiting for the open man, while holding Olympus to just 38.5 percent shooting.
"It was high," Barnes said of his concern at the half. "Down 10, in a slow-paced game, having to get out and chase them, guard them, it was definitely high."
With 4:50 left in the third quarter, Timpanogos guard Trey Anderson made a layup and the Timberwolves led 30-22. It was the last time Timpanogos would score until 5:50 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Following Anderson's layup, Noah Bennee knocked down two free throws to cut the lead to six points.
Enter Rylan Jones.
Jones knocked down two pull-up 3-pointers from above the break in transition to tie the game at 30.
"I thought if we get some stops and then I can shoot a pull-up 3 in transition — because it's hard to guard when we're in transition — I could pop up and shoot it and I saw some open shots, took the opportunities, and I knocked them in," Jones said.
Momentum was shifting towards Olympus.
"I made those two 3s to tie it. I think from there, our crowd got into it, our community got into it, and we feed off that. Our baby was rolling and they couldn't stop us," Jones said.
"What do you say about Rylan? Holy cow, two pull-up 3s in transition. Boom, boom. Gets it tied up. He's amazing. I'm going to miss that kid," Barnes said.
Stage right, Jeremy DowDell.
DowDell stole the ball and laid it up, giving the Titans the lead, then hit a 3-pointer to increase that lead to five points.
"Shooters do shoot. Same with Jeremy, he saw one go in to start the half and then he got his confidence going," Jones said.
"My kids were terrific. They just put it all on the line. Rylan and Jere (DowDell) have been the two guys all year. What can you say about those guys? They're unbelievable," Barnes said.
Olympus was just getting warmed up.
Jones sunk two free throws, converted an and-one, and hit two more free throws. Olympus led 42-30.
Before Timpanogos guard Riley Curtis made a 3-pointer with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter, Olympus had blown the game wide open with a 20-0 run, with 18 of those points scored by Jones and DowDell. The Titans were moving on with a 62-42 win.
Jones finished the contest with 22 points, while DowDell added 19. Jackson Frank was also big, hitting some key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help extend Olympus' lead. Frank finished with 11 points. Matt Norman led Timpanogos with 13 points.
Defense was also a big factor in Olympus' win. After allowing 26 points on 68.8 percent shooting in the first half, the Titans locked down, holding Timpanogos to just four points in the third quarter as Olympus outscored Timpanogos 19-4 in the period. The Titans forced nine turnovers in the second half.2 comments on this story
"We kind of had a little strategy to help off the big guy a little bit, just off the penetration, but when the big guy was just kind of floating out there being the release guy, we had to play all five guys," Barnes said. "We had to step up and put the pressure on and trap the handoffs from the on-ball screens a little bit and just try to speed them up. We created a few turnovers ... We had to make a few adjustments and get a little more assertive."
Olympus faces Corner Canyon on Friday at 5:50 p.m.