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High school boys basketball: Olympus takes Region 7 road win over Corner Canyon

DRAPER — If you wanted an example of a boys basketball game that's a "grinder," all you'd need to do is watch Tuesday night's Olympus-Corner Canyon clash.

By Olympus coach Matt Barnes' own admission, this one wasn't particularly pretty. But hey, when it comes right down to it, there's no such thing as an ugly victory.

Senior guard Jake Lindsey led the way with 16 points, while junior forward Isaac Monson added 13 and senior forward Nick Wright contributed 11 more, and that trio combined for all 17 of the Titans' fourth-quarter points in a tense 47-45 Region 7 road victory over Corner Canyon on Tuesday night.

Lindsey did a little bit of everything for Olympus, whether it was rebounding the basketball, dishing out several slick assists, swiping some key steals, or blocking a couple of Corner Canyon shots.

But Lindsey, who averages 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists a game, said the only numbers that really count are 6-3 — the Titans' region record.

"Teams have really keyed on Jake and tried to take away his penetration and made it tough on him, but he made some great passes tonight," said Barnes, whose team improved to 6-3 in Region 7 and 16-4 overall with its third-straight win. "He made a great pass to Nick when we were down to get the two-and-one. ... He's a great all-around player; he's almost averaging a triple-double, and he's been playing through a bad hip all year.

"I give my guys a lot of credit just from the standpoint that we were tough when it counted. It wasn't the prettiest win by any means but any time you can win on the road in this league, you'll take it. It was a grinder; it was a tough game."

Lindsey seemed to take his game up a notch in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line, scoring the Titans' first five points of the period and later stealing the ball that led to Wright's go-ahead basket that made it 47-45 with 1:23 to play.

The Titans missed the front end of two one-and-ones in the final 36.3 seconds, then dodged a couple of bullets when Corner Canyon clanked a couple of potential game-winning 3-point attempts in the last nine seconds.

"I wasn't trying to do anything special," Lindsey said of his strong fourth-quarter performance. "I was just trying to keep playing and just play aggressive, and Coach Barnes has a lot of confidence in me and doesn't doubt me. And when I make a mistake, he just tells me to pick it up and go again.

"My guys, I trust 'em a lot and they were open and you've got to make the right basketball play.

"Isaac hit those two big 3's in the fourth quarter and Nick scored and made the banked free throw after I got the ball stripped from me," Lindsey said. "Nick saved my butt on that one. I had to thank him for that. ... Thank the Lord, Nick was there."

The lead changed hands a half-dozen times in the fourth quarter, as Monson's 3-pointer put Olympus on top 38-35 before Johnson fueled a 6-1 spurt that gave Corner Canyon a 41-39 lead with 4:10 remaining.

A three-point play by Wright put the Titans back on top 42-41, only to see Coon and Riley Ogden score back-to-back buckets for the Chargers that gave them a 45-42 lead.

Then Monson made another clutch 3 to tie it at 45 with 2:50 to go, and Lindsey's steal led to Wright's go-ahead layup with 1:23 left.

"I've got to give my kids a lot of credit," Barnes said. "We hung in there and battled and we were tough in the last three minutes when we got down. We kinda sucked it up a little bit and made some good plays.

"Nick Wright made a couple of big plays for us; Isaac Monson hit a big 3 to tie it (45-45 with 2:50 to go), Nick makes the two-and-one that's crucial there and a banked free throw is always a gift. But my two guys that missed the front end of one-and-ones at the end, I said heck, I'll take the banker — whatever goes in.

"We played great defense the last two minutes, and then Jake came up with a big steal and Nick came up with a loose ball and scored it, and we just kinda held on from there," he said.

"In our league, every night's a war and a battle. Look at the standings and it's a huge win for us because Corner Canyon was just a game and a half behind us coming down the stretch. And we have all the guys that are ahead of us to play still. So it was a good win and gives us second place for the time being. Any time you can get a win on the road and a win over here, you'll take that."

EMAIL: rhollis@desnews.com