Nick Barney plays big for Olympus

Olympus' Nick Barney, right, has been big all year for the Titans.

I sports it’s almost always not about where you start, but where you finish.

Olympus senior guard Nick Barney started the year on the bench, but is finishing it on the court – playing a huge role in his team’s state final berth. In the Titan’s 64-51 semifinal win over Provo he scored 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting which included going 2 of 2 from the arc and 3 of 3 from the stripe.

“Nick has had a terrific second half the year,” said coach Matt Barnes. “You talk about his offense, but he also did a great job for us on the boards. He carried the load in the first half and then continued to hit big shots for us. He hit some big 3s…he did a great job tonight – he was awesome.”

Before the season started Barney was beat out of the starting role by some up-and-coming underclassmen. Due to some early struggles, however, Barnes decided to turn to Barney and some other seniors and they’ve responded.

“I didn’t start him and I wanted to see how hungry he was and how tough he was…he’s proven to be a team leader and someone who can hit big shots when it counts,” said Barney.

According to Barney he just stepped up like anyone else would.

“I just did what anyone would and executed when I had to,” he said. “It was just my turn tonight I guess. My teammates made it easy for me. You have Will (Cannon) inside that teams have to focus on and it makes me open some of the time and you just have to hit shots when they come to you.”

Not all of his shots were a result of what the defense gave to him, however. At the close of the first quarter he took a shot that gave Barnes some pause.

“We were trying to set some things up and it was one of those shots where you say ‘oh, no’, but then it goes through and I was ‘oh, yes,” said Barnes. “That was a big shot for us and gave us the lead going into the second quarter and what can I say – he was great for us all night.”

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