GREENSBORO Olympics boys basketball team has had a simple, if clichéd, philosophy this season take em one game at a time.
Thats gotten the Trojans a win away from an undefeated season and their first N.C. High School Athletic Association state championship.
But Olympic had to survive arguably its toughest test this season, beating Mount Tabor 69-64 to win its first 4A Western Regional title Saturday at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center.
Trey Mitchell scored 18 points and earned most valuable player honors for the Trojans (29-0), while C.J. Jackson also had 18 points and hit a pair of key 3-pointers in the final three minutes against the Spartans (27-4).
We knew from the beginning that their size and length was going to be an issue if we didnt handle it, Olympic head coach Ty Baumgardner said.
We just fought and fought and fought. That was a heck of a high school basketball game there ... the toughest weve had this year, without a doubt. Were just happy to be playing next Saturday.
B.J. Gladden scored 11 points and Jevin Patton had 10 for the Trojans, who will play Raleigh Broughton for the state 4A title next Saturday in Chapel Hill. Broughton won the Eastern Regional title by beating Fayetteville Seventy-First 67-59.
Deion Robinson scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and TyQuan Bitting added 16 for Mount Tabor, which opened with a 7-0 run before Olympic settled down to take a 19-14 first quarter lead.
We knew we had our hands full, Baumgardner said. We knew we were in for a war.
It became a true battle in the second half. With the Spartans up 35-34, the teams swapped the lead 17 times and tied the score 11 more during the final two quarters.
Jacksons fourth 3-pointer of the game put Olympic ahead to stay with 1:19 left, and he hit a pair of free throws with 19 seconds remaining to give the Trojans some breathing room.
Itll be wonderful if we can win it all, Mitchell said. Weve just got to keep doing what weve been doing all season, and doing it as a team.