There was no love lost between rivals Lawton High and MacArthur when the two met at Highlander Fieldhouse on Friday night.
And while both the girls and boys games played out mostly the way many anticipated, it didn’t make the games any less exciting or dramatic.
The boys game was billed as a matchup of high-octane offenses and did not disappoint. Lawton High fell behind by seven at halftime. But behind a 25-point performance from Marty Perry and several clutch baskets late by ex-Highlander Sep Reese, the Wolverines charged back to secure a 76-69 win and the city title.
Meanwhile, the MacArthur girls got ahead early and stayed ahead. Four Highlanders scored in double figures, while McKenzie Washington had seven steals to go with her team-high 14 points as the Mac girls ran away with an 82-40 win, sweeping the season series with LHS.
Big second half carries LHS past Mac
When Arzhonte Dallas stole a long inbounds pass and found Earl Moseby for the lay-in, MacArthur not only gained a 37-30 lead. The Highlanders had taken all the momentum in their marquee matchup with rival Lawton High heading into halftime. Lawton High had played well early, building an eight-point lead late in the first quarter. But Mac proceeded to outscore LHS 23-8 in the next eight-plus minutes. The Wolverines, who were without starting center Ashawnti Hunter due to disciplinary reasons, began to get complacent on offense, something head coach Eric Wiley knew needed to change.
“It’s something we talked about halftime, we just weren’t moving,” Wiley said. “We were doing stuff that was unorthodox and that gets us in trouble.”
Things changed in a big way after halftime. The Wolverines put up 31 points in the quarter, buoyed by four triples, two by lanky sharp-shooter Laquon Williams. And even when Jamel Graves and Eric Wiley, the Wolverines’ primary post weapons, got in foul trouble, players like Demarcus Andrews and Jaylen Swift came off the bench to make key baskets and secure rebounds.
The player on whom much of the pregame hype was directed, Sep Reese, made sure he left his mark in his final game at the gym he once called home. Reese scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, and nailed four of five free throws.
But the night truly belonged to Marty Perry. After starting off the game with nine first-quarter points, he one-upped that with 10 in the third.
Perry’s 25 were matched by MacArthur sophomore Arzhonte Dallas. Danquez Dawsey had 16 points for Mac, while also collecting nine rebounds.
Lawton High (16-2) plays Enid today at home, the last game before regional seedings go into effect. As it stands, the No. 4 Wolverines would hold the No. 1 seed in the west side of Class 6A. MacArthur (13-6) visits Altus on Tuesday.
Youngsters, vets combine to lead Mac
Early on, it looked like the leading ladies for MacArthur would be the usual suspects. Senior Erin Henry had 14 first-half points, while junior guards McKenzie Washington and Tamera Thomas provided the defensive pressure, leading to easy baskets.
And while Henry did finish with 16 points and Washington had 14 points and seven steals, Otis Gentry was also able to get quality minutes from younger players, as well as some juniors who’ve just started seeing their minutes spike in recent weeks. Freshman Tajanah Mardenborough had 13 points, while sophomore Azariah Jackson had 11. But junior Kaylynn Kemma saw increased time on Friday, often defending Lawton High’s top ball-handlers. Gentry was also complimentary of the progress junior Kennedy Fisher has been shown, a trait he feels is spreading through his team.
“She’s gaining confidence. She’ll shoot that short jumper, she’ll shoot the three” Gentry said. “Them building their confidence up, that’s going to carry us forward into the playoffs.”
The game started on a sour note, as MacArthur’s Kamryn Simien, a transfer from LHS, was fouled hard underneath the basket just 22 seconds into the game. While Gentry said he didn’t believe there was any malice or ill-intent behind the foul, Simien still had to leave the game and never returned.
Lawton High’s offense was once again shouldered by Dalena Fisher, who ended up with 18 points. Liz Omusinde grabbed seven rebounds.