Friday , March 02, 2018 - 6:52 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — Rylan Jones figured it was his turn to put a stamp on the game.
Olympus already had a double-digit lead in the third quarter when Jones drove the lane with a behind-the-back dribble, a crossover dribble and finished at the rim with a foul call.
The green-and-white-clad crowd went crazy. Jones flexed his muscles.
Bountiful couldn’t stop Jones or the Titans (26-0) as the Braves (12-13) suffered a 79-43 loss in the 5A semifinals Friday at the Huntsman Center.
It was the familiar fate that most everyone has met against Olympus this year: a torrid Titans’ shooting performance by several players and an insurmountable deficit early.
“They’ve beat everybody on their schedule ... everybody’s taken their shot, we took our shot. That’s all you can ask sometimes, is take your shot and see what happens,” Bountiful head coach Mike Maxwell said.
In this game, Olympus shot 31 of 56 (55.4 percent), got 26 points from Jeremy Dowdell, 17 and eight assists from Jones and two more players — Spencer Jones and Harrison Creer — scored 13.
The hot shooting, as it usually has, started early. Olympus shot 65.4 percent from the floor and went 14 of 15 on 2-pointers in the first half, a majority of which came on drives, cuts, layups and fastbreaks.
Rylan Jones, the Titans’ Utah-commit junior point guard, went coast to coast for a layup past three defenders, who he raced right by, on three occasions.
“It starts with our defense, people don’t believe that, people think we’re all about offense, but to win these things and be good you’ve got to defend,” Olympus head coach Matt Barnes said.
Meanwhile Bountiful went cold in the first half after Camron Chism hit deep 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to put Bountiful ahead 8-4. But the Braves went into the locker room shooting 32.1 percent and finished the game on a 33.3-percent clip.
Brig Willard led Bountiful with 17 points on 7 of 16 shooting and Chism ended with nine points.
Of the 10 previous meetings between these two schools (Olympus held a 6-4 edge in the series before Friday), only one game was decided by 10 or more points.
That was when they played in January this year, an 84-70 Titans win in a game where the teams were tied 43-43 at halftime.
The fact the Braves were that close and could hang with Olympus for that long gave them a lot of confidence heading into the semifinal. It was really only the third quarter of that January meeting where the Titans showed their dominance, outscoring Bountiful 18-6.
But that game was two months ago and, if Olympus wasn’t an avalanche then, the Titans certainly are now. It showed in Friday’s game.
“We were trying to change the defense and when you have one day to practice, it’s kind of tough to try to make an adjustment,” Maxwell said. “But they beat us last time, you have to do something.”
Once Olympus led by 20-plus points in the third quarter, the entertainment turned to the back-and-forth jeers between the schools’ student sections
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