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SALT LAKE CITY — In the words of Snoop Dogg: “Perfection is perfected, so I’ma let ‘em understand.”
And with an impeccable record of 27-0, the Olympus Titans achieved perfection, earning their second 5A boys state championship in four years with a 76-49 win over Corner Canyon Saturday at the Huntsman Center.
Understanding the way the Titans steamrolled through the regular season and tournament is quite simple: put five guys on the floor who can all shoot, pass and rebound, and let them go to work.
Olympus plays their starters essentially the whole game. Over the course of the 5A playoffs, the Titans beat their opponents by 27, 41, 36, and 27 points, all while playing primarily the same five guys.
“It just shows we play as one and such good character and chemistry,” declared Titan’s Rylan Jones, who led the team with 24 points, six rebounds, six assists, and two steals. “Any team, they couldn’t beat us.”
The starters for the Titans scored a combined 71 of the team’s 76 total points. Harrison Creer had 21 points with two big 3-pointers and Jeremy Dowdell chipped in 13 points and had a block so hard it nearly sent the ball back in time. Spencer Jones and Jacob Dowdell combined for 13 points, respectively.
The Titans were only up six on the Chargers after the first frame, but the second quarter was a long eight minutes for Corner Canyon. The Titans shot 82 percent from the floor (9-of-11) and outscored the Chargers 25-9.
“Everyone preaches about our offense, but it all starts on the defensive end, believe it or not,” Titans coach Matt Barnes said.
The team defense for the Titans was the biggest reason for their success against Corner Canyon. In the semifinals, Hayden Welling posted 29 points with ease and the offense controlled the paint.
That was not the case against the Titans, who only surrendered 18 total points in the paint, and Welling was contained to 1-of-6 shooting for just two points with two rebounds.
“He’s done an unbelievable job this week,” Barnes said of Welling’s performance throughout the tournament. “We had to be physical with him, try to force him away a little bit. ... Today we wanted to be solid and make them earn everything.
Barnes admitted that he’s never worn his title ring from the 2016 championship but doesn’t plan on wearing either of his rings, especially at the same time. Instead, he keeps them at his house and said he will “cherish this for the rest of my life.”
It can be hard to keep high school students excited about going to class on a Monday morning, but Jones said he’s especially looking forward to seeing his classmates back at school.
“It’s gonna be a riot," he said. "It’ll be a lot of fun. You can tell with those guys right there, the best student section in the state, probably in the country. They’re unbelievable.”