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Holladay Journal

Olympus girls basketball team off to challenging start in competitive Region 5 girls basketball

Feb 03, 2022 03:18PM ● By Josh Mc Fadden

Abby Topham is contributing eight points and eight rebounds a game for the Titans. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

It has been said that defending champions have a target on their backs. Repeating the feat of winning a championship can be a daunting task. 

Just ask the Olympus girls basketball team. 

Last season, the Titans went 13-1 in Region 5, winning the league by a game over Highland. Overall, the team was 19-6 and fell in the state semifinals to a powerful Farmington squad. This season, the Titans had big expectations, and rightfully so. 

“Our big expectation is simply to compete again,” said head coach Whitney Hunsaker. “We want to make each and every game competitive, so we have the chance to fight for a region championship and hopefully state championship.”

This season, Olympus is off to a 2-2 start in league action, having lost more region games than all of last year. In a top-heavy region, Olympus’ two wins were huge blowouts—80-13 over Park City on Jan. 4 and 67-19 over Murray on Jan. 11. The two losses were under double digits: a 45-39 loss to Highland on Jan. 7 and a 50-43 loss to Skyline on Jan. 21. 

The Titans entered this season feeling motivated after last year’s successful run. 

“Last year was definitely one for the books and one that will be hard to beat,” Hunsaker said. “However, we left the season feeling hungry and even feeling like maybe we could have given just a little more. We made it to the semifinals and lost to the championship team by two in preseason, so it definitely hurt and made us wonder a little bit. So, to build off last year, we really need to focus on how we felt at the end of last season and put that into each and every game, practice, and even every drill. We need to put the extra time in and leave everything we have on the court.”

Olympus has relied heavily on the talents of senior guard-forward Alyssa Blanck, who has already signed to play college ball at BYU. She has averaged 20.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists a game. She has scored at least 30 points three different times this season. She is the only Titan to average in double figures per game this season. However, junior forward Abby Topham is close with an 8.2 per-game average. She also hauls down eight rebounds a contest. Senior guard Mary Sheets scores 5.7 points per game, while fellow senior guard Brooklyn Davies averages 5.9 points per game. 

“Each position and player is capable of scoring, which will make us hard to defend once each player really starts to figure how they score,” Hunsaker said. “We have a really good defensive mindset right now. We are holding teams to 34 points per game right now, which has been a huge goal of mine. Finally, I feel like we have a unit of girls who really like each other which makes that easy to play together.”

To contend for a region title, Hunsaker said her team needs to improve offensively and put forth a full effort each night. 

“All players need to consistently score or at least look to score,” she said. “We have had a few games where some players have taken a back seat and haven't always taken their shots. I don't need seven girls in double digits (would be incredibly nice) but need each player to put up points each night. The girls need to feel like we gave everything we had and left it all on the floor after each game. If then the better team wins, I can walk away feeling so much better and I think the girls can too.”

Olympus finishes up region play Feb. 18 at Brighton. At press time, Olympus was two games behind undefeated Skyline.