The Olympic Trojans never trailed in Friday night's 4A West Sectional Final against Alexander Central, but they were definitely challenged.
Olympic scored 13 straight points in a 1-minute, 40-second stretch late in the third quarter to blow open a tight game and went on to defeat the visiting Cougars 65-51.
"That was two really good teams in what you expect from a sectional final," Olympic coach Ty Baumgardner said.
Early on it looked like Olympic (28-1) might blow out Alexander Central (22-7), jumping to a 10-2 lead. But the visitors hung in using backdoor cuts, mostly from Alec Ayer and Matt Mohon, to stay close.
A Mohon layup with 50 seconds left in the second quarter cut the lead to 25-24, which was the score at the half.
In the third quarter, Olympic began to show its muscle.
John Brown scored on back-to-back dunks, the second of which came on a reverse off an offensive rebound and brought the crowd to its feet, giving the Trojans a 35-29 lead.
Alexander Central answered with baskets from Ayer and Mohon to cut the lead back to two points with 2:12 left in the third. But that was when Olympic took over.
Austin Dasent hit a 3-pointer at the two-minute mark, then Trey Mitchell hit another 30 seconds later. Another Dasent 3-pointer with 1:05 left in the third pushed the lead to 44-33, and the Olympic run wasn't over.
A Mitchell basket with 26 seconds left in the quarter extended the lead to 46-33, then Dasent stole the inbounds pass and was fouled. His two free throws capped the 13-0 run and Olympic led 48-33 with 20 seconds left in the quarter.
"We've got a good group of kids and different guys step up each night," Baumgardner said. "We said at half that whoever digs the deepest would win and our guys really played hard. I'm proud of all of them."
Allerik Freeman led Olympic with 18 points, while Dasent scored 15 and Brown had 12. Nathan Birkedal led Alexander Central with 12 points, all in the second half, while Ayer and Mohon had 10 points apiece.