The Titans fell to the Tigers in overtime Dec. 15, 58-49.
ORLANDO The opportunity was there.
On the road Tuesday night, in front of an energized home crowd for the Jones Tigers, the Olympia Titans took a late lead after trailing for much of the game. After the Tigers tied the contest at 45-45, a play drawn up out of a timeout with 20 seconds remaining saw Olympia's Taylor Hair score a go-ahead bucket with just 10 seconds to play.
Jones — the No. 3 team in the state in Class 4A — would score with three seconds remaining, though, sending the game to overtime. There, the Tigers (8-4) outscored the Titans (8-5) 11-2, earning a 58-49 win.
Afterward, Olympia head coach Robert Carmody acknowledged that turnovers ultimately prevented his team from securing an important road victory.
“We’ve got to not turn the ball over — we had far too many turnovers," Carmody said, adding that “We played way too frantic in the half-court."
Hair led the Titans on the night with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Leading into Tuesday's game, Olympia had won three consecutive contests and five of its past seven. Several Titans have stepped up during that stretch, most noticeably junior forward Anjelie Tirone.
“She’s been huge off the bench, very active," Carmody said, adding that Tirone — a standout sprinter on the track team — can guard nearly all five positions.
After hosting Apopka on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Olympia will play in the Jim Clark Classic at Bishop Moore Catholic High School over the holiday break. After the break, the Titans return to a busy schedule that includes dates against two of the best teams in the state: at Wekiva on Jan. 8 and at Colonial on Jan. 16.
The hope is that, even in defeat, Tuesday's loss will be beneficial to the team going forward.
“We’ve got to practice a little bit harder to get used to competing at that high level," Carmody said. “We kind of showed our frantic nature, so we absolutely have to play with more poise and play with that sort of pressure. (Tuesday's game was) a good learning moment."
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].