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Millcreek Journal

As usual, Olympus boys basketball causing opponents trouble

Feb 09, 2024 01:39PM ● By Josh McFadden

Jordan Barnes is not far from averaging a triple double in his senior year. (File photo City Journals)

As one of the state’s most consistent, successful boys basketball programs, the Olympus Titans are having another solid season. 

Olympus won five of its first seven games in Region 6 and were 15-3 overall at that point. The Titans are used to winning region titles but are looking up in the standings to defending Class 5A champion Alta, which beat Olympus 56-45 on Jan. 16.

The season’s most important games—the state tournament—are coming up. 

To prepare for state, the Titans will look to maintain their RPI, which currently sits at No. 2. A win over Alta in the teams’ next meeting, at Olympus on Feb. 9, could lift the Titans to No. 1. 

Olympus also suffered a setback at Highland in the Jan. 3 region opener. The surprising 69-68 loss came in overtime. However, Olympus got revenge in a big way when the two teams met again on Jan. 26. This time playing on the Titans’ home court, Olympus prevailed easily 71-44. On Jan. 12, Olympus defeated Brighton 92-85 in an offensive showdown. 

The Titans’ others wins all came by at least 24 points. Olympus defeated West at home on Jan. 5 by the count of 81-55 on Jan. 5. It also ran by East on the road, 69-45 on Jan. 19 and clobbered Skyline at home, 76-49 on Jan. 23. Olympus averages 75.1 points per game, best in Region 6 and all of Class 5A. 

For a team with the offensive firepower of Olympus, it’s no surprise to see some eye-popping individual stats. 

Three Titans score in double figures, with senior guard Dutch DowDell leading the way averaging of 23.6 points per game. In fact, DowDell is fifth in the entire state in scoring and second in 5A. He tallied double digits in points in 17 of Olympus’ first 18 games and reached at least 20 points 13 times. DowDell score 30 or more points eight times during this stretch with a season high of 34 in the win at Brighton. DowDell is also the most prolific three-point shooter in 5A with 64 conversions (3.6 a game) through the team’s first 18 contests. He is fourth in the state in three-pointers per game. He also averages 4.9 rebounds a game. 

DowDell gets lots of help from his teammates. 

Jordan Barnes, son of longtime head coach Matt Barnes, averages 16.6 points per game and drills 2.1 three-pointers a contest. He’s not all that far off averaging a triple-double, as the senior guard averages 7.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists an outing. He’s also tops on the team in steals at 3.7 a game. His assists and steals averages are both No. 1 in 5A and No. 2 statewide. 

Senior Reef Smylie is the third in the dynamic Titan trio. The forward scores 16.4 points per game to along with 4.7 rebounds. Another solid contributor is sophomore guard Gavin Lowe. The talented youngster should be a focal point of the offense next season and is scoring 8.4 points a game this year. He also grabs 2.8 rebounds and dishes out 2.5 assists a game. 

The Titans will look to once again be a threat in the state tournament, which begins Feb. 20. Olympus will finish its regular season at Skyline Feb. 16. λ