Fresh off the final tournament week of the regular season, the high school teams of Lawton are all looking to improve in the final month before the playoffs.
City hoops fans will be happy to know that over the next four weeks there will be four nights of intracity matchups and the first one is tonight as MacArthur travels west to take on Lawton High.
The girls start the action at 6 p.m. with the boys following at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Fresh off a pair of tournament titles, both Eisenhower basketball teams return to the floor tonight for a matchup with Dallas-based Prime Prep Academy. The girls game tips at 6 p.m. with the boys following shortly after.
Both the Lawton High and MacArthur boys teams are coming off disappointing finishes in their respective tournaments last week. The Highlanders finished fourth in the Clester Harrington Shortgrass Invitational in Altus after a heart-breaking 65-64 loss to OKC-Centennial. Lawton High lost to Moore by four points in the first round of the John Nobles Invitational in Moore before rebounding two win its final two games against Tahlequah and Ponca City.
The matchup presents problems for both teams. Inside, LHS will have its hands full with Mac's Jariun Nolan. The senior has been a force since being declared eligible at the beginning of the semester. A 20-plus point, 10-plus rebound night has become routine for Nolan.
It's up to Lawton High forward Chris Deck to keep Nolan in check, and if his highlight-reel block at the end of the Moore game that nearly won it for the Wolverines is any indication, Deck will be up to the task.
Class 6A No. 19 LHS (10-7) has a small advantage on the perimeter with Darreyl Patterson, Dakari Moss and the return of Dallas Sealey, who missed the tournament for a recruiting trip to Abilene Christian. Those three guards combined can do it all. Patterson is a slasher and can kick it out to Sealey and Moss who can both knock down 3-pointers.
Class 5A No. 6 MacArthur (8-5) boasts arguably the city's best shooter in senior Trace Cook. Cook, who is on pace to finish as Mac's second-leader scorer in school history, hit five threes against Centennial and that was an average night. He's helped along by Isaih Ervin, Trent Meisel and, off the bench, Sam Brown.
It will be a matchup of different styles as Lawton High has been known to get out and run while MacArthur likes to play hard-nosed, gritty defense.