For two-and-a-half quarters of Thursday’s 5A quarterfinals at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, the Timpanogos boys basketball team did everything it needed to in order to stay with the defending 5A state champs from Olympus.
The Timberwolves had run a patient offense, willing to back out and start over if the first look wasn’t there. They had given everything they had on defense to not allow the Titans to get the shots they wanted.
But great teams respond and that’s just what Olympus did, rallying from a 26-16 halftime deficit to beat Timpanogos, 62-42.
“Our guys did a pretty good job executing our game plan, especially in the first half,” Timberwolf head coach Izzy Ingle said. “We held them to just 16 points. We knew coming out of halftime that they would try to speed us up. If we were able to stay in the lead, then we could’ve stayed with it.”
Led by superstar senior guard Rylan Jones, the Titans went to a full-court press at the start of the third quarter.
Even though Timpanogos usually managed to get the ball across halfcourt fairly easily, things broke down after that. The Timberwolves didn’t want to go straight on attack, even if they had numbers, because it would get the game to a tempo that favored Olympus.
But when they tried to run their offense, they struggled to remain calm under the frenetic intensity of the Titans.
“We tried to keep our composure but we just couldn’t do it,” Ingle said.
The key sequence came with Timpanogos leading 30-24. Jones came down on two consecutive possessions and drained NBA-range 3-pointers in transition from the top of the key, putting all the momentum on Olympus’s side.
At the other end, the Timberwolves missed some great looks both from beyond the arc and at the rim. The result was a game-defining 20-0 run for the Titans and Timpanogos simply couldn’t bounce back.
“We were getting everything we wanted,” Ingle said. “We just had a stretch of a couple minutes where nothing would fall, then everything was falling for them at the same time. That happens against great teams.”
The T’Wolves had done well in the first half of getting Olympus out of its rhythm. The Timpanogos offensive patience had the Titans playing back while the Timberwolves made 11-of-16 shots from the field to get the lead.
It wasn’t something that lasted, however, and Ingle gave Jones a lot of credit for that.
“He is an unbelievable defensive player,” Ingle said. “He would get to passes that there was no way he should’ve been able to get to. He’s a special player.”
Timpanogos was led by senior guard Matt Norman, who scored 13 points, while Riley Curtis and Trey Anderson added nine points each.
Jones set the pace for Olympus with 22 points (19 of which he scored in the second half), while senior guard Jeremy Dowdell added 19 points.
Ingle said the message to his team after the game was the coaching staff was proud of what they accomplished as a unit.
“We told them we love them,” Ingle said. “The guys came together and although we weren’t always the most talented players on the floor, we were the better team in most of our games. I’m proud of the way they battled and bought in. If one player wasn’t performing, others stepped up.”
He said this Timberwolf senior class set a high bar of the future of the program.
“For three years, we were region champs or co-region champs,” Ingle said. “That’s an unbelievable run. We were one win away from three straight 20-win seasons. They are going to be hard to replace.”
Olympus advanced to Friday’s 5A semifinal at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, where the Titans will face the winner of the Corner Canyon-Highland quarterfinal game.