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The City Journals

Titans bow out early from state tournament

Mar 09, 2020 11:32AM ● By Josh McFadden

The Olympus boys basketball team lost in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament to end its season.

By Josh McFadden

The Olympus boys basketball team’s offseason came much earlier than usual.

The Titans, winners of the 2018 Class 5A state tournament and the 2014 4A tournament, fell to Mountain View in the first round, 63-58. It was the earliest postseason exit for Olympus since 2008. 

In its playoff game, Olympus had home-court advantage and went into the second quarter all knotted up with Mountain View. However, a rough second quarter found the Titans down 38-26 at halftime, and they couldn’t recover. Olympus did get within 46-40 by the end of the fourth quarter, but Mountain View held on for the win. 

Zach Alder had a game-high 26 points in a losing effort. He also hit seven three-pointers, a season high. Nathaniel Lowe added 13 points for Olympus, which ended the season with a 13-11 overall record. 

In Region 6, Olympus tied for third with a 10-4 mark, one game behind co-champions Brighton and East. It brought an end to the Titans’ five straight region titles. 

Region play was full of streaks for Olympus. The team started off with four straight wins, including a 67-42 blowout of Brighton on Jan. 14. After a pair of losses, the Titans reeled off four more wins, all by at least 13 points. Brighton then got revenge on the Titans with a 63-60 win on Feb. 4. This preceded an Olympus loss to East, 69-60.

Olympus blew away its final two region opponents, started with a 59-30 victory over Murray on Feb. 11. The regular season ended with a 60-44 victory over rival Skyline on Feb. 13. Caden Kuhn had 20 points and rebounds in the win for Olympus. Jack Wistrcill had 11 points and four rebounds. 

Head coach Matt Barnes knew he had some big shoes to fill this season in replacing All-State players Rylan Jones and Jeremy Dowdell. Ben Krystkowiak led this year’s squad in scoring with an 11.6 average. He also paced Olympus in rebounding with more than five per outing. Alder chipped in 11.2 points per game. Kuhn and Lowe weren’t far behind with nine points per game apiece. 

Barnes must replace Alder, Lowe and Kuhn for next year. However, Krystkowiak will return as a senior, while Wistrcill will only be a junior. This year’s roster lists 12 underclassmen, so the Titans should see plenty of experienced faces on the court for the 2020-21 campaign.