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Olympus survives buzzer-beater, upset-minded East (+video)

OGDEN — Don’t try and convince Olympus that Region 6 was a one-team league this season.

While many expected the Region 7 co-champion Titans to roll past the No. 3 seed from the subpar Region 6, East had other ideas. The upset-minded Leopards played great defense all game and frustrated the heck out of Olympus, one of the 4A state tournament favorites.

As well as East played though, Olympus showed tremendous poise, something you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a team with one senior starter.

The Titans regrouped after East hit a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime, dodged a bullet when East missed a 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer and then pulled away in double overtime for a 56-49 victory in a thriller Monday morning at the Dee Events Center.

“What a back-and-forth game, obviously you feel great when you win and it kills you when you lose, but it was a great high school game,” said Olympus coach Matt Barnes. “Very proud of my kids for just hanging in there and battling, making the stops when we needed to.”

With the victory, Olympus advances to the 4A quarterfinals and will face Region 8 champion Maple Mountain on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

Olympus threatened to run away with the game twice.

It led 26-19 midway through the third quarter, but East responded with a 12-0 run and took a 31-28 lead into the fourth.

The Titans responded with an 8-0 run of their own in the fourth quarter, backed by a pair of Miles Keller 3-pointers ,and looked poised to close the door on the Leopards. They were leading 39-36 with less than a minute remaining, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 on back-to-back possessions.

East made the most of that lifeline

It cut the deficit to 39-38 on a pair of free throws by Mark Jackson with 6.7 seconds remaining. Then after Olympus’ Isaac Monson swished two free throws at the other end to stretch the lead to 41-38, East leading scorer Dacian Spotted Elk hit a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to send East’s student section into pandemonium.

“Give them credit, they scrapped and battled to give them a chance to win,” said Barnes.

In the first overtime, the Titans were in position to play for the last shot with possession and less than a minute, but they missed two open shots, which allowed East to play for the last shot with 33 seconds left.

Olympus' defense did an excellent job denying Spotted Elk the ball, but East still got a decent look at a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it bounced off the back of the iron.

“I’ve been around basketball too long, when I see that shot go up that’s too close, and luckily he missed it,” said Barnes. “To be a good team and to win these things and make runs, you’ve got to make stops when the game's on the line.”

In double overtime, with East 7-footer Jackson long since fouled out, Olympus grabbed clutch offensive rebounds on its first two possessions to take a 48-44 lead with 1:50 remaining.

The Titans scored on every possession in double overtime to pull away for the win.

Jake Lindsey led the way for the Titans with 21 points, but he had a miserable day shooting, going just 6-of-26 from the field, with countless driving layups rimming out.

“Just stick with it. I’ve had off nights before, been in that situation before when we’re down, recently vs. Murray, and had a crazy comeback. I try not to doubt myself, and my teammates pick me up,” said Lindsey.

Monson scored 12 points to go along with his 11 rebounds to pick up some of the scoring slack, with Keller adding 10 points.

Spotted Elk led all scorers with 22 points.