Adokiye Iyaye has worn Lawton MacArthur smooth out since his high school career began as a freshman last season.
So it was no surprise that Iyaye, who’s averaged 29 points per game against the Highlanders in his career, put in 25 on his 16th-birthday Tuesday night to lead Piedmont to a 63-56 victory.
Piedmont (5-12) shot 14 of 20 from the field – many of the makes from inside the paint – in the second half with Iyaye putting in 16 after intermission, all in the paint to help a 7-point halftime lead stand up.
“Offensively whether they’re in zone or man, we want to go inside-out. That’s the whole principle behind everything we do,” Lallemand said
Poor play from MacArthur (6-10) helped, too. In one stretch at the end of the third quarter on Tuesday, the Highlanders missed five consecutive layups. In a 7-point game, that was too much to overcome. The Highlanders never found the range from beyond the arc, either, going 3 of 15 for the game, which made the missed layups even more costly.
“We kind of banked on that,” Lallemand said of MacArthur’s cold shooting from 3-point range. “They might’ve gotten baskets from inside, but from outside they didn’t kill us. You have to play percentages and tonight we won out.”
After trailing by as many as 12 in the second half, Hugh Coleman, who scored 24 points, brought the Highlanders within five, 61-56, with 23.9 to play. But after a foul and two missed free shots from Addaryl Quinn, Quinn hustled down his own rebound and made the next two foul shots to ice the game. Quinn finished with 14.
Piedmont’s win means a season split of the regular season meetings between the two teams. The Highlanders beat Piedmont, 59-58, in overtime in Lawton in their only other meeting.
“I felt like we could’ve beat this team twice,” Lallemand said. “It’s nice to come back and get this second one.”
MacArthur 48, Piedmont
Lauren Henry scored a game-high 19 points to lead 13th-ranked MacArthur past Piedmont, 48-45, Tuesday night, avenging an earlier loss to the Wildcats in Lawton this season.
MacArthur’s defense keyed its win all the way to final play, when the Highlanders blocked Delaney Mitchell’s potential game-tying 3-pointer as time expired to seal the win.
Before that, Highlanders head coach Danny Garza used a box-and-one and a triangle-and-two to slow down Piedmont’s top scorer Maddie Sperle, and its second leading scorer, McKenna Kirkpatrick. Sperle scored 12 points, but had just four after half. Kirkpatrick had five points total.
Teonna Thomas, Sydney Gunter and Destinee Cobb split time guarding the Piedmont duo.
“I thought that kind of took them out of their game a little bit,” Garza said. “I was proud of our defense. Our effort and our hustle today were great.”
Piedmont tried to employ the same defense against Henry, but she managed to stay productive throughout the game and also hit 3 of 4 from the free throw line in the final minute.
“The good thing about that was that we could post up Lauren with her size against the first girl they put on her and get the ball inside a little bit,” Garza said.
MacArthur led by four to open the fourth quarter and, despite some miscues in the final minutes, never relinquished the lead.
The win avenged a 57-48 home loss to the Wildcats in December and was a solid response to a 26-point loss at the Deer Creek tournament on Saturday.
Piedmont played without starting point guard Hannan Reasoner for the third straight game. She sat out with a thumb injury.