VW Findlay girls basketball player of the week: Alex Olson steps up for Pine View

Alex Olson drives the ball for Pine View basketball in its home win over Cedar, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — Pine View senior guard Alex Olson has been selected as the Region 9 girls basketball player of the week for week three of the regional-season.

Cedar basketball at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George / Cedar City News

Olson put her shooting talents on display, scoring 21 points in both games of the week and assuming a primary scorer role for the Panthers on Jan. 19 as preseason MVP Averi Papa was out with injury.

Even with Papa in the lineup, Olson is a central figure in head coach Ben Luce’s system on both sides of the court.

“Alex leads our offense,” Luce said. “We’re not the same team without her, offensively or defensively. She pushes the ball well. When her feet are set, she’s a deadly shooter. When teams try to take that away she can get to the rim easily.”

Olson is far and away Region 9’s top 3-pointer shooter. As of Wednesday, her 40 from the perimeter were 24 more than second-place Enid Vaifanua from Desert Hills. Olson is also shooting 47% from the arc. The two players with a higher success rate in the region have fewer than 10 attempts.

Alex Olson takes a jumper for Pine View basketball against Cedar, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George / Cedar City News

Olson landed 11 from the perimeter in week three. She hit four on Jan. 19 as Pine View topped Cedar at home, 53-26. Both teams were missing key pieces but Olson stepped up to lead the game in scoring in her school’s first win over the Reds in seven games dating back to 2018, including a season-ending playoff loss to end the Panthers’ 2020 season.

The 5-foot-5-inch guard hit a three-ball in every quarter and scored 12 of Pine View’s 21 first-half points. She also recorded three steals in the game.

Two days later, Olson hit 21 points again, all coming from beyond the arc. She went 7-for-12 from the 3-point line as the Panthers blew out Hurricane 82-31.

She posted a trio of 3-pointers in each the first and third quarters and dished out five assists in the game.

“I’ve been playing well lately because I’ve got a great team,” Olson said. “We’re really balanced and I’m just trying to do what I can to help us win every night.”

Pine View ran away to 13-1 start of the season with the only loss being a close overtime shootout against Desert Hills. Papa and Olson give Pine View the most dynamic scoring offense in the league. The former is the unquestioned queen of the rim and the latter shows she can’t be stopped from deep. As the team tries to make a deep playoff run, Olson’s deep-ball ability and entire skillset will loom large.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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