Titans win another region boys basketball title, have eyes on bigger prize
Feb 26, 2019 01:40PM
● By Josh McFadden
Rylan Jones does it all for the Olympus Titans, who won its fifth straight region title this year. (Photo courtesy Blake Williams)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
Another season, another region championship for the Olympus boys basketball team.
The Titans completed the Region 6 schedule with an unblemished 10-0 record to win a league crown for the fifth straight season. Olympus shared a Region 7 title in 2015 and now has four consecutive Region 6 championships on top of that. In fact, the Titans have back-to-back-to-back undefeated region seasons and haven’t lost a league game since a 66-57 defeat at the hands of Murray on Feb. 5, 2016.
Though Olympus had some closer calls against region foes this season than it did a year ago when it won by an average score of 89-54, the team still outpaced opponents in Region 6 by 30 points per game.
By winning yet another league title, Olympus heads into the Class 5A state tournament as the No. 1 seed from the region where they’ll square off with the No. 4 seed from Region 5 on Feb. 26 at Weber State University. The single-elimination tournament runs through March 2 when the title game takes place.
The Titans will look to return to consecutive 5A championships and are aiming to reach the final game for the fourth year in a row. The Titans also won the state championship during the 2015–16 season.
Olympus clinched this latest title with a 74-55 victory at second-place East on Feb. 15. The Titans started off a little slowly, leading 37-32 at halftime, but picked up the pace in the third quarter with a 26-12 run.
With the potent duo of Jeremy Dowdell and Rylan Jones, both seniors, there’s little reason to believe Olympus won’t once again be the top contender in 5A. Jones had 30 in the region championship-clinching triumph over East, while Dowdell had 27. Their performances were indicative of how they played all year.
Dowdell is the leading scorer in the entire state, pouring in almost 30 points an outing. He also set the Utah state record for three-pointers in a career. With two games left to play in the regular season, he had already made 289 during his time at Olympus, breaking the previous record of 271. He made at least two three-pointers in every game this season.
Jones has been an all-around dynamo for the Titans since he joined the team as a sophomore. Not only is he second on the team and fifth in Class 5A at 20.7 points per game, but he also packs the stat sheet in other areas. Jones tallies nearly eight rebounds and more than eight assists an outing. He also leads the state with three steals a game. He had 11 double-doubles heading into the final two games and even posted a rare triple-double on Jan. 25 against East with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.
Deservedly, Dowdell and Jones get an enormous amount of attention, but fellow senior Noah Bennee does a lot of the dirty work. He scores more than six points a game, racks up nearly seven rebounds an outing and makes things difficult for opposing offenses.
The Titans enter the state tournament with an overall record of 21-2 and winners of 19 games in a row.